San Antonio veteran, family get new home

'I was overwhelmed with surprise and joy'

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SAN ANTONIO – A local veteran got a huge surprise Monday when he found out that he and his family were getting a new home.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Sierra Jr., a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, got a hero's welcome Monday when he drove into Mission Del Lago, which his family will now call home.

"I was overwhelmed with surprise and joy," Sierra said.

Sierra and his wife, Maria, will be getting a custom-built, mortgage-free home, thanks to "Operation Finally Home."

Dan Wallrath, president and founder of the nonprofit, said it's important to give back to the men and women who serve this country.

"We have the honor of presenting a new home to one of America's finest heroes that has given so much for our country," Wallrath said.

"I don't expect anything from anybody," Jose Sierra said. "But, when somebody comes out and takes time out of their busy schedule or even just out of their hearts and says, 'We're going to do something 
for you,' it's hard to accept, you see that's it's overwhelming."

Maria Sierra was emotional about starting a new beginning.

"God has blessed us with a new open door," she said. "Some doors are closing. This one just opened up. I don't know where."

Operation Finally Home has built about 150 homes in 36 states. 

"We just give these great builders, suppliers, subcontractors the opportunity to give back and they willingly do it all across the nation," Wallrath said.

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