In the heart of Fayetteville, North Carolina, a remarkable mission is underway, one that embodies the spirit of service, patriotism, and community support. The Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity's Veterans Build Season, running from September 1st to November 31st, is more than just a construction project; it's a heartfelt effort to repair and rebuild the lives of local veterans and their families. This season's goal is ambitious: to repair 10-15 veteran homes and begin construction on a new home for a dual veteran family. Let's explore the first Veteran Build Repair this season, it is a story that embodies the essence of this mission.
The Patriot Day Family: A Tale of Love, Service, and Sacrifice:
The Patriot Day family prefers to remain anonymous, but their story is a testament to love, dedication, and resilience. High school sweethearts in 1994, they reconnected 13 years later, both having served their country in the military and established careers. The husband joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, while the wife enlisted in the Army in 2001. After military service, the husband embarked on a 25-year career in law enforcement, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. Together, they are raising eight children, with three serving in the Marine Corps, one in the Army, one as a correction officer, and another as a Police Officer. Their youngest two are still in high school.
A Mother's Day Tragedy:
The family's journey took a tragic turn on Mother's Day in 2023. Their tradition of visiting the North Carolina Zoo was disrupted due to heartbreaking news received just a week prior. The wife had been caring for her mother, who was battling stage four cancer. Instead of going to the zoo, they decided to take the grandmother to the beach for one last time. However, on Mother's Day morning, the husband and youngest son, who had gone ahead to the coast to catch kingfish off the pier, became concerned when they couldn't reach the wife. They enlisted family members to check on her at home, only to find her unresponsive in their master bedroom.
A Stroke's Devastation:
Rushed to the local hospital, the wife's condition was grave. She had suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and caused extensive brain damage. The family faced an uncertain future, filled with physical and mental challenges as they embarked on the difficult journey of recovery. In those challenging hours of uncertainty, the community rallied around them with love, support, and generosity.
Former students coached by the couple a decade ago reached out to offer their support. The family quickly realized the depth of their loving and supportive community. Their church sprang into action, helping to prepare their home for the wife's return. The family also found assistance from First in Families of North Carolina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. When First in Families recognized the need for a safer bathroom to aid in bathing, they introduced the family to Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity's Commitment:
Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity, known for its dedication to providing affordable housing solutions, seized the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of this service-oriented family. The organization aims to honor the family's years of service to the community and their children's commitment to serving our nation. Their project focuses on providing a safe and accessible bathroom, offering the family the peace of mind they need to focus on the wife's recovery.
The Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity's Veterans Build Season is not just a construction project; it's a labor of love, respect, and gratitude for the veterans who have served their country and the families who have sacrificed alongside them. The Patriot Day family's story embodies the mission of this initiative, showcasing the power of community support and the transformative impact of giving back. The Patriots Day Family project was just the beginning of FAHFH Veteran Build Season. We have weeks of work ahead of us. As we continue through this Veterans Build Season, let us remember that each nail hammered, and each wall raised is a symbol of our appreciation for those who have served and a testament to the strength of our community when we come together for a common cause. If you're interested in joining this noble endeavor, there are volunteer slots available during Veterans Build Week of Service November 3rd – 9th. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of this inspiring journey. Together, we can build hope, one home at a time.