Ever since U.S. Army Specialist Andrew Jones returned home from combat, he has suffered from physical injuries and PTSD. However, thanks to an unforgettable gift from a non-profit, Jones is finally being given the chance to heal.
Building Homes For Heroes, a non-profit that builds and remodels homes specifically tailored for veterans, heard about Jones’ heartbreaking journey and knew exactly how they could help — by gifting Jones and his family a mortgage-free home.
During a 2007 tour in Iraq, Jones was in a Humvee that was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, according to Fox News.
As a result of the blast he suffered traumatic brain injuries, but the PTSD proved to be much more difficult once he came home.
“What kept driving me was I had a son and a wife. I need to get better, take care of myself,” he explained.
“PTSD, the scariest feeling is knowing that you’re always in danger. Your mind is constantly running 10,000 miles an hour,” he continued. “You’re worried about where your back is facing … is it facing the glass? Is somebody looking at you ready to take a headshot at you?
“You always wonder about your family, making sure they’re protected. It’s a daily struggle.”
Jones received the Purple Heart Medal and was honorably discharged, but is unable to work due to his injuries.
Now he stays at home, taking care of his young son while his wife, Leigh, serves as a medical assistant in the Air Force.
Because Leigh is active duty, the family was moving from base to base, placing even more strain on them.
“We’re super thankful for what we had. Whether it was in the camper or in a house or an apartment,” Jones said, adding, “We were able to adapt.”
Leigh told Fox News that decorating for Christmas with her son helped make wherever they were living feel a little more like a home.
“Me and my son are like little elves on Christmas,” Leigh said. “Growing up, my mom wasn’t really too big on decorating for Christmas so now that I am the mom, I make sure that it’s something that we take the time to do.”
This year, however, the Joneses are getting to celebrate Christmas at home — their remodeled, mortgage-free home.
Building Homes For Heroes gave the family a home in New Bern, North Carolina, as a part of its campaign to gift 16 homes to 16 veterans before Christmas, according to WNCT.
Andy Pujol, the founder of the non-profit said he heard about the Jones’ story and knew his organization could help.
The home was remodeled with specialized bathrooms and other features specifically catered to the needs of Jones and his family.
They even decked out the home in Christmas decorations.
“Every time we give a home, it’s Christmas. It’s not always Christmastime, but the homes around Christmas, we always to take that extra care and attention and decorate the homes for Christmas,” Pujol told Fox News.
While the home is a physical gift, Pujol said when you look at Jones you can see a far more precious blessing unfolding.
“If you look into his heart and his soul, you could see him struggle, you could see him suffer, but when he smiles, he lights up the room,” he said, referring to Jones, “and we’re watching him heal.”
The nonprofit invited other local organizations to present the home to the Joneses.
“As I was driving down the street, I was looking out the window and I saw just tons and tons of people standing there, smiling and clapping, and it was just overwhelming,” Jones recalled.
“Andy from Building Homes for Heroes, he’s like Santa Claus for sure,” Jones added. “We cannot believe that this is happening and happening to us. We’re just blown away. This Christmas is by far the best Christmas ever.”
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