Operation Homefront – Homes For Veterans
Tim McGraw, Operation Homefront and Chase are continuing to award mortgage-free homes to veterans on the Shotgun Rider Tour 2015. Over their three years working together, they have awarded 108 homes, touching over 300 veterans and family members in 30 states in front of over 2,000,000 fans. Thirty-six homes will be awarded during the 2015 Shotgun Rider Tour.
To learn more about Chase’s military and veterans affairs programs, visit ChaseMilitary.com.
Find out more about our Homes on the Homefront program – click here to learn if you qualify and view current homes. And consider giving a gift to help our military families make it through tough times.
September 9th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Darrell Mendiola
Darrell Mendiola was born and raised in Guam. Growing up, he simply wanted a better life than what he saw around him. He also wanted to find something that would allow him to put his skills and talents to good use. In 2001, Darrell made the bold decision to enlist in the U.S. Army.
As an infantry team leader, Darrell successfully accomplished assigned missions and quickly rose through the ranks. Darrell led his team during two tours in Iraq – first in 2003 and again in 2006. He was also part of a special assignment, Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command, where he assisted in recovering the remains of soldiers who served in the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. This was a combined effort with Department of Defense civilians. After nearly 14 years of military service, Darrell was honorably discharged in 2014.
Darrell’s transition out of the Army was a quick one. He and his wife, Teresa, were living on base in Honolulu and didn’t have a place to home. The couple knew they wanted to live stateside near family but didn’t know where to begin to find a home. They soon learned of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program and applied for a home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A short time later, Darrell learned that the home was being awarded to them. The couple moved in February of this year.
Darrell is currently working to overcome serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, he sustained while in the Army. He is in his second semester at the College of Southern Nevada studying business, and hopes to obtain his bachelor’s degree in three years. Darrell and Teresa are looking forward to spending quality time with their family and adding several personal touches to their new home.
“Receiving this home means everything to us,” said Darrell. “It’s a chance to be financially stable and build a bright future for my family.”
“We would like to extend our gratitude to Operation Homefront and Chase,” added Darrell. “We are grateful for this opportunity and value that there are organizations like Operation Homefront assisting wounded warriors and veterans.”
- Darrell Mendiola was awarded a mortgage-free home in Las Vegas, Nevada; he and Teresa moved in earlier this year, Feb. 2015.
September 5th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Specialist Mark Barozzi
Mark Barozzi was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He grew up in a family with a long history of military service, with his grandfather having served in WWII and his brother an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Mark wanted to move to New York and become a peace officer with the NYPD. Limited financial resources and the high cost of living made the move prohibitive. Mark followed another path allowing him to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
As an infantryman, Mark operated and maintained weapons and equipment. He also performed basic communication functions and operated platoon communication equipment. In 2011, Mark deployed to Afghanistan. While there, he broke his back and sustained other injuries as the result of a vehicle accident. Mark medically retired from the Army with an honorable discharge in 2011.
Mark and his wife Rochelle have been married for 23 years. Following Mark’s discharge, Rochelle left her job to become Mark’s full-time caregiver. For the two of them, it was a quick transition from military to civilian life. Mark and Rochelle have two adult children and one grandson age 5.
The couple heard about Operation Homefront’s ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program through a friend who was the recipient of a mortgage-free home. They decided to apply for the home in Fallon, Nevada, and a soon received the exciting call that the home was being awarded to them. The couple moved in Oct. 2013. They are about to complete their two-year mentorship and hope to receive the deed to their home this fall.
Mark is somewhat of a motivational speaker. He visits VA hospitals providing inspirational words and guidance to veterans like him. His message is one of hope and encouragement – there is life after injury. Mark and Rochelle hope to continue their work and visit other hospitals across the country.
Mark and Rochelle have settled in and are enjoying their new home. “This home has given us real piece of mind and comfort,” said Mark. “It’s also a blessing and there are no words that can describe how we feel – thank you just isn’t enough.”
“We can’t believe that this type of opportunity has been afforded to us,” added Mark. “We have been fans of Tim’s since he began his music career and look forward to meeting him in Portland!”
- Mark and Rochelle were awarded a mortgage-free home on Fallon, Nevada, and moved in Oct. 2013.
September 4rd, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U. S. Army Sergeant Brandon Jones
Brandon Jones was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. He comes from a family with a long history of military service with his father and uncle having served in Vietnam, and his grandfather in WWII. As a young man, Brandon wanted to make a difference in the world but had no real direction or formal education. In 1994, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Seattle.
Serving as a non-commissioned officer, Brandon provided medical care and support to officers and physicians during traumatic events. In 1996, he deployed to Kuwait and then returned to his duty station within a year. In 2004, he deployed to Iraq and then to Afghanistan in 2010. After serving nearly 20 years, Brandon medically retired from the Army with an honorable discharge in 2013.
Brandon is a single father raising two children ages 7 and 9. He was renting a home and living in an uncomfortable environment unable to provide for his children. While working full-time with the Washington Army National Guard, Brandon received an email about Operation Homefront’s ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. He looked into it further and found several homes in his area that he could apply for.
He applied for a home in his hometown of Tacoma and, a short time later, learned that he was being awarded the home. He and his two children moved in July of 2013.
Presently, Brandon is working to complete his bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism. He also works with a local veteran’s organization where he helps out with their annual retreat. Brandon is working to obtain his certification as a veteran service officer.
“This home has been a wonderful opportunity for me and my kids,” said Brandon. “We can afford to live comfortably and now have the freedom to do so many things that we didn’t before.”
“This home has provided us with more that I ever imagined – especially my children,” added Brandon. “Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, this is our home and will be for many years to come.”
- Brandon Jones and his children were awarded a mortgage-free home in Tacoma, Washington; the family moved in July 2013.
September 3rd, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U. S. Army Corporal Nate Fisher
Nate Fisher was born in McCook, Nebraska, and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Being part of a family with a long history of military service, Nate knew from an early age that he wanted to serve his country. Like most Americans, the 9/11 attacks had a profound affect on Nate. His younger brother was serving in the military at that time so Nate made the bold decision to join him. In 2005, he enlisted in the Army National Guard in Las Vegas.
As a corporal, Nate served as a transport operator responsible for moving personnel and cargo via wheeled vehicles. In 2006, he deployed to Iraq and moved supplies and equipment throughout Bagdad as well as and from the airport. After completing his initial term of service, Nate reenlisted in 2008. A few years later, he medically retired with an honorable discharge.
Since leaving the military, Nate has been living with his father in a small trailer in Las Vegas. He has custody of his four-year-old daughter and the two share a room. Nate heard about Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program through his social worker at the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program and decided to apply.
A short time later, Nate received the exciting news that he is being awarded a mortgage-free home in Las Vegas. Nate recently graduated from college with an electrical engineering degree. He’s a real entrepreneur and plans to open his own business soon. Nate and his daughter are excited to move in and look forward to spending more quality time together. They also hope to take a much deserved vacation very soon.
“This home is such a blessing to us,” said Nate. “It will be a fresh start for me and my daughter – a place that we can call our very own.”
“I want my daughter to grow up in a stable home,” added Nathan. “Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, she will have that opportunity – a place all her own that she can call home.”
- Nate Fischer was awarded a mortgage-free home in Las Vegas, Nevada; he and his daughter expect to move in end of Sept. (9/29).
August 30th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U. S. Army Staff Sergeant Kevin Lloyd
Kevin Lloyd grew up in Manning, South Carolina. Having lived in a small town most all his life, Kevin had a desire to travel the world and experience new things. He got that chance in 2002 when he made the spur-of-the-moment decision to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Following training, Kevin deployed to Iraq. As a squad leader, he led his unit during combat operations. He was responsible for executing tactical deployment assignments and coordinating plans of attacks. Throughout 2003, 2005, and 2007, Kevin served in Iraq where he took part in several battles earning him the prestigious Purple Heart. In 2010, following eight years of service to his country, Kevin was honorably discharged from the Army.
Kevin’s wife Amber is also a veteran having served in the Army. The couple met in 2007 while both were deployed to Iraq. Kevin and Amber have four children ages five, six, seven, and ten, and have been married for five years. The family is currently renting a two-bedroom apartment in Owing Hills, Maryland. Kevin was recently researching veteran resources and services when he came across Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. He saw a home posted on the website and decided to apply.
A short time later, Kevin and Amber received the exciting news that they were being awarded the home in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family expects to move in later this year.
Kevin is looking forward to moving in and spending quality time with his family. He and Amber have been watching HGTV and are already thinking about ways they can personalize their new home. Kevin is taking online courses and studying business in the hope of opening a small boutique for Amber.
“This home means so much to me and my family,” said Kevin. “It’s a fresh start and a breath of fresh air for all of us.”
“It’s a blessing, and we are excited about making plans for the future with our children,” added Kevin. “My children now have a safe environment and a backyard to play in.”
- Kevin Lloyd was awarded a mortgage-free home in Hagerstown, Maryland; he and his family expect to move in later this year.
August 29th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Jessica Samhan
Jessica Samhan was born and raised in Harvey, Illinois. Growing up, she wanted to serve her country while also building a better life for herself. Jessica wasn’t particularly interested in attending college. In 2004, during her senior year, a recruiter visited her high school. It was then that she decided to enlist in the Army National Guard becoming the first female in her family to join the military.
After serving in the National Guard for two and half years, Jessica reenlisted in the Navy in 2011. She is currently serving as a yeoman providing administrative assistance and clerical support. In 2013, Jessica completed a tour of Guam followed by the Philippines in 2014.
Jessica is engaged to her fiancé, Anthony, and has two boys ages five and nine. As a single mother, Jessica struggled to find an affordable home suitable for her family. Like any mom, she dreamed of owning her own home and providing a safe environment for her children.
While researching veteran support organizations, Jessica learned of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. She applied for the home in Matteson, Illinois, and soon received the exciting news that the home was hers. She and her family will be moving in in just a few short weeks, on or around Sept. 15.
Once she settles into her new home, Jessica plans to focus on her personal finances paying off prior debts and saving for the future. Although she’s moved many times, Jessica is especially excited about this one. She’s looking forward to painting and adding personal touches to make the home hers. She is also looking forward to spending time with Anthony and her two sons – and simply being a mom!
“This is a big milestone for me and my family,” said Jessica. “I never thought I’d be able to provide a permanent home for my children.”
“It’s a new beginning for us,” added Jessica. “I can’t thank Operation Homefront and Chase enough for all they have done.”
- Jessica Samhan was awarded a mortgage-free home in Matteson, Illinois; she and her family expect to move in in just a few weeks.
August 28th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Specialist Leo Burggraf
Leo Burggraf was born in Middletown, Ohio, and raised in nearby West Carrollton. Growing up, Leo knew he was headed down the wrong path and needed to make some changes in his life. After receiving some advice from a family member, Leo decided to straighten up by enlisting in the U.S. Army. In 1984, Leo began his military career not too far from home, in Cincinnati.
As an infantryman, Leo was initially responsible for transporting supplies to troops. Over the course of his military career Leo served in several locations including Germany; Fort Ord, California; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Panama in 1989 as part of Operation Just Cause. After serving nearly ten years in the Army, Leo was honorably discharged in 1993. Without the military, Leo doesn’t know where his life would have ended up.
Leo and his wife of 28 years, Sunisa, are currently residing in Hebron, Kentucky. The home they have been renting for the past 17 years recently started to deteriorate. It was about that time that Leo’s stepfather sent him an email letting him know of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. Since they had been unable to purchase a home of their own, Leo and Sunisa decided to apply for a home in nearby Hebron, Kentucky. Just a short time later, they received the exciting news that the home was theirs.
Leo and Sunisa have grown children and are empty nesters. They are preparing to move into their home this fall and are looking forward to hosting their children and grandchildren for family gatherings. Since they will soon have a place all their own, the couple is anxious to start saving for their retirement.
“Thank you, Operation Homefront and Chase, for making this long-held dream of owning a home come true,” said Leo. “We feel very privileged to have this opportunity.” “Thank you for taking care of our veterans and making this possible,” added Leo.
- Leo Burggraf was awarded a mortgage-free home in Hebron, Kentucky; he and his wife expect to move in this fall.
August 22th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class Corey Daniels
Born on a military base, Corey Daniels seemed destined to become a servicemember. Though he was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, Corey grew up in Port Charlotte, Florida, with a desire to travel the world. In 2006, Corey took the first step by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in Great Lakes, Illinois.
As a hospital corpsman, Corey rendered emergency medical treatment, including initial treatment in a combat environment, to Marines. He also served as a field medic and technician when he deployed to Iraq in 2008. After serving five years, Corey was honorably discharged in 2011.
Upon his discharge, Corey returned home to Port Charlotte, Florida. Corey, his wife Alexis, and their three children – Lacy, Lynley and Jameson – quickly outgrew their rental home.
Corey’s VA treatment program was transferred to Naples, Fla. It was then that Alexis learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program and encouraged Corey to apply for a home in Naples. A short time later, the family received the exciting news that they were being awarded the home. They moved in Sept. 2014.
With a new place to call home near the VA, Corey has greatly reduced his commute. Alexis’ family lives nearby and helps out with the kids, something that has brought them all closer together. Corey is now attending school and studying computer science.
“Having a new home is simply mind blowing,” said Corey. “I really can’t say thank you enough.”
“This is an immense opportunity for us to get back on our feet,” said Corey. “Operation Homefront is a great organization that’s providing some much needed help to servicemembers.”
- Corey Daniels and his family were awarded a mortgage-free home in Naples, Fla.; the family moved in Sept. 2014.
August 14th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Tracy Baggett
Tracy Baggett was born in Peoria, Illinois, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Once she graduated from high school in 1986, Tracy was ready to explore new things. She took the first step in making that happen by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in Detroit, Michigan.
As a radioman, Tracy was responsible for maintaining satellite telecommunications on ships, aircraft and at shore facilities. After serving almost 10 years in the Navy, Tracy was honorably discharged in 1995.
After separating from the Navy, Tracy and moved to Southaven, Mississippi, where she and her son Deidrick lived in a small apartment. They were trying to save for a home of their own when Tracy learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. She applied for a house in Memphis and soon received the exciting news that the home was hers.
Tracy and Deidrick moved in their new home April of last year. With this new home, they are able to live near other family members and experience some much needed stability. Presently, Tracy is working to complete her master’s degree in Healthcare Services and Administration. She hopes this degree and her new home will put her and Deidrich on the path to a prosperous future.
“Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase for this amazing program,” said Tracy. “Our new home is a real dream come true.” “I never thought I’d be a home owner!” added Tracy.
- Tracy Baggett was awarded a mortgage-free home in Memphis, Tenn.; she and her son Deidrich moved in April 2014.
August 14th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Frank Pederson
Frank Pederson was born and raised in Northern California. Growing up, he always knew he wanted to serve his country in some way. In 2004, Frank took the first step by enlisting in the U.S. Army in nearby Sacramento.
As a chaplain’s assistant, Frank was responsible for protection as well as supporting the morale of his entire unit. He deployed twice to Iraq over the course of his military career, first in 2005 and again in 2008. After eight years of service, Frank was honorably discharged in 2012.
Frank and his wife Chrissy recently celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary. With two little ones and another on the way, Frank and Chrissy have quickly outgrown their home in Kuna, Idaho. They learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program from a friend who was awarded a home and decided to apply for a home in Mobile, Alabama. A short time later, Frank received the exciting news that the home would soon be theirs.
Frank currently works as a computer technician and his job takes him all over the country. He recently accepted a position in Alabama that will require much less travel. This new career opportunity and his new home will allow Frank to spend much more time with his family.
“This home is such a wonderful blessing for me and my family,” said Frank and Chrissy. “We are so thankful for this opportunity.”
“This is an amazing program and we are grateful beyond words.”
Frank Pederson and his family were awarded a home in Mobile, Ala.; they will be moving in this Oct.
August 8th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Kent Oliver
Kent Oliver was born and raised in Wonder Lake, Illinois. Growing up, Kent always felt that something was missing from his life. He graduated from high school with a desire to travel, see the world and make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Kent found a way to satisfy all those by enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
He joined in 2005 in in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As an electronic technician, Kent was responsible for troubleshooting and repairing radar and communications equipment. He served one tour in the Persian Gulf. Kent was honorably discharged in 2012 due to injuries he sustained during his deployment and other service activities.
Kent and his fiancée Justine have a six-year-old daughter and two-year-old twins. Following Kent’s discharge, the family rented a home and tried saving money for a home of their own. Kent and Justine saw a story about Operation Homefront on television and looked into the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program.
They applied for a home in Lake in the Hills, Illinois, just outside Chicago, and just a short time later learned that the home was being awarded to them. Kent and his family moved in January 2014.
Kent is now working to complete his bachelor’s degree in business administration and hopes to play a larger role in the family business. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and watching his children grow up in their own home.
“Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase for everything you are doing to help veterans and their families,” said Kent. “This home is unbelievable and has really changed our lives,” added Kent. “The financial impact has given us the opportunity to pursue things we never could have considered otherwise.”
- Kent Oliver and his family moved into their new home in Lake in the Hills, Ill., January 2014.
August 8th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Justin Burke
Justin Burke was born in Hammond, Indiana, and raised in nearby Merrillville. Both his father and uncle served as Marines which made the decision to enlist an easy one for Justin. In 2007, he followed in their footsteps by joining the U.S. Marine Corps in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a military police officer, Justin trained and prepared for deployment. He also upheld the criminal justice system, maintained good order and discipline, and supported the commander’s law enforcement and security requirements in peacetime as well as combat operations. During his service, Justine deployed to Afghanistan between 2009 and 2010. He was honorably discharged a year later in 2011.
Upon his discharge from the Marine Corps, Justin, his wife Ruby, and their two little ones, Jaylen and Easton, settled in Crown Point, Indiana.
Justin and Ruby learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program through a friend who was awarded a home. They decided to apply after their apartment became too expensive. The home they applied for was in Hanover Park, Illinois, just outside Chicago. A short time later, they received a call letting them know the house was theirs! They moved in August of 2014.
Justin recently was hired as a contractor near Chicago. They have family in nearby Schaumburg and are excited to live so close to them.
“Thank you to Operation Homefront and Chase for helping veterans get back on their feet,” said Justin. “This is something we didn’t expect to happen or feel we deserve,” added Justin. “Thank you for giving us this opportunity we could never afford on our own.”
- Justin Burke and his family moved into their new home in Hanover Park, Ill., August 2014.
August 7th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Specialist Roy Vanderford
Roy Vanderford was born and raised in Columbia City, Indiana. From a very young age, Roy knew he was destined to serve in the military. In 1988, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in nearby Fort Wayne.
As an infantry team leader, Roy was responsible for training soldiers. He trained them on efficiently executing raids, reconnaissance missions, ambushes, and civil military operations in preparation for rapid deployments. Early in his military career, Roy deployed as part of Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He also assisted with efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After 20 years of service to his country, Roy medically retired in 2008.
Upon his retirement from the military, Roy and his wife Jody settled in San Antonio, Texas, to be near their daughter, Whitney, and her twin boys. Not long after, Whitney and her family moved to New Haven, Indiana, after her husband was awarded a home through Operation Homefront. That’s how Roy learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program!
Following their lead, Roy applied for a house and quickly received the exciting news that they had been selected to receive a home.
Roy and Jody moved into their new home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just this week (Aug. 5). They are thrilled to live near family and have the opportunity to help raise their two grandsons, 3-year old twins.
“Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase,” said Roy. “I can’t express how grateful we are for this incredible opportunity. This home will offer not just me and my wife some stability, but my grandsons as well,” added Roy.
Roy Vanderford and his family moved into their home in Fort Wayne, Ind., Aug. 5 of this week!
August 2nd, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jim Flarity
Jim Flarity was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Following the 9/11 attacks, Jim’s primary wish was to join the military and help the war effort. In 2004, Jim got the chance after joining the U.S. Army and completing training in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
As a forward observer, Jim was responsible for providing support to fire, field artillery and air strike forces. He deployed several times, to Iraq in 2005 and 2007 as well as Afghanistan in 2010. During his three combat tours, Jim sustained several injuries including a traumatic brain injury and a serious leg wound that required three surgeries. As a result of his injuries, Jim will medically retire from the Army next month, Aug. 2015.
Jim, his wife Fallon, and their two children, Riley and Finnegan, are currently living in Madison Heights, Michigan, with family. Jim moved his family closer to home after his two-story apartment in Fort Campbell became too hazardous.
A short time later, Jim learned of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. He found a home in nearby Adrian and decided to apply. The family soon received the exciting news that they were being awarded the home! Renovations are underway and the family hopes to move in this fall.
This new home will allow both Jim and his wife to remain near their families, both of whom live in the Detroit area. It will also provide them with financial stability and allow Jim to pursue his dream of attending culinary school and one day opening his own business.
“We finally have a place to call our own,” said Jim. “I can’t thank Operation Homefront and Chase enough.”
“We are extremely grateful not just for what you’ve done for us, but for fellow veterans as well,” added Jim.
- The Flarity family was awarded a home in Adrian, Michigan just outside of Detroit. They expect to move in this fall.
August 1st, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor was born and raised in Mason, Ohio. Driven by a desire to serve his country and be part of America’s elite fighting forces, Tony enlisted in the Marine Corps in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2005.
As a rifleman, Tony served as the primary scout within his infantry. He specialized in weapons training and helped train junior Marines operating in close combat. Tony deployed to Iraq in 2006 and again in 2008. After eight years of service, Tony was honorably discharged in 2013. Upon his separation, he settled in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he recently completed his associate degree in Turf Grass Science.
After landing a job at a high-profile private golf course back in his home state, Tony, his wife Jamie, and their two daughters, Kylee and Ryan, moved in with his mother in Cincinnati. Tony decided to move in with his family after he and his wife were unsuccessful in finding a suitable and affordable home for their family.
A short time later, Tony learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program and applied for a house in Loveland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Soon thereafter, the family received the exciting news that the home was theirs. The Taylor family moved into their new home just last week on July 23!
This new home will allow Tony and his family to remain near other family members and also provide them with some much needed financial freedom. Tony hopes to eventually become a golf course superintendent.
“It’s great to see the deep appreciation of organizations like Operation Homefront and Chase,” said Tony. “Thank you for providing this great opportunity,” added Tony.
“We are honored to be part of this incredible program that helps deserving veterans and family members pursue their life-long dreams.”
- Tony Taylor and his family were awarded a mortgage-free home in Loveland, Ohio; they moved in just last week!
Joe Jeffcott: Chase Representative
Joe served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 – 1995 and deployed as part of the First Gulf War. He then moved to Cincinnati where he earned a bachelor’s degree and began work for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Joe again enlisted as part of the reserve forces, the U.S. Naval Coastal Warfare community. He deployed twice to Iraq and was injured in Ramadi during his second deployment. Joe returned to duty in 2007 and deployed to Iraq once again.
Joe has been with J.P. Morgan Chase for nearly 10 years. He and Julie, his wife of 18 years, have 13-year old triplet boys. Joe is currently pursuing a master’s degree in military history and diplomacy and expects to graduate this December.
July 31th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S Air Force Airman Curtis Flaviani: Veteran Home Recipient
Curtis Flaviani was born in Warren, Ohio, and raised in nearby Niles. He grew up in a bad neighborhood and thought the military would offer him not only a way out, but also the chance to attend college. In addition, a close friend had enlisted which greatly influenced Curtis’ decision. In 2008, he joined the Air Force in Cleveland and was immediately sent to San Antonio for training.
As a vehicle operator, Curtis was responsible for transporting air crew and supplies. A couple of months before he was set to deploy, Curtis severely injured his hand. Unable to deploy, he served three years before being honorably discharged in 2011.
Curtis is currently residing in Cortland, Ohio, with his 4-year-old son, Elijah. As a single father, life has been tough on him. Curtis has been unable to sustain a good-paying job due to his injuries, and therefore can’t afford daycare for Elijah.
After being robbed in his neighborhood, Curtis decided it was time to move. He learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program through the VA and applied for a house nearby. A short time later, Curtis learned that he and Elijah were being awarded a mortgage-free home in Streetsboro, Ohio, just a short drive from Cleveland.
After enrolling his son in Pre-K, Curtis hopes to eventually go back to school himself. One of his dreams is to join the police academy. Another is to ‘pay it forward’ by making a contribution to Operation Homefront.
“This home is a blessing for me and my son,” said Curtis. “I want you to know that you are saving lives through these homes.”
“It’s great to see people care so much about our veterans, all our veterans, and not just those who deployed,” added Curtis. “Thank you and God bless everyone for this opportunity and experience.”
- Curtis Flaviani was awarded a home in Streetsboro, Ohio; he is scheduled to move in next month, Aug. 13.
July 30th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Eric Hunt
Eric was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in nearby Mentor. Growing up, he was confident that he would one day become a Marine just like his uncle. Eric followed in his uncle’s footsteps and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1997 in Mankato, Minnesota.
As a warehouse clerk, Eric performed various duties such as receiving, inspecting, shipping, and storing supplies and equipment ready for deployment. Over the course of his 12-year military career Eric deployed twice to Iraq, first in 2003 and again the following year. He sustained several injuries during combat and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2009.
After leaving the military, Eric, his wife Cheryl, and their four children rented a home Elyria, Ohio, just west of Cleveland. Eric enrolled in college and currently pursuing a degree in computer science. Finding a quiet place to study and concentrate on his schoolwork is often hard for Eric as he suffers from post-traumatic stress and a traumatic brain injury.
Eric learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program through his fellow student veterans. He found a home in Jefferson, just northeast of Cleveland, and decided to apply. A short time later, he and Cheryl learned that the house would soon be theirs.
Since moving in Feb. of 2014, Eric has enjoyed spending quality time with his family that lives nearby. He also hopes to get another service dog soon.
“This home is a fresh new start for us,” said Eric. “Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase for this opportunity.”
“It is a blessing to finally have a place to call our own,” added Eric. “My wife is a huge country music fan and we’re really excited to meet a great patriot like Tim McGraw.”
- Eric and his family were awarded a mortgage-free home in Jefferson, Ohio; they moved in Feb. of 2014.
July 24th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Josh Evans
Josh Evans was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, and grew up in nearby Weston. Although Josh’s father served as a U.S. Marine, he was not supportive of his son’s desire to enlist. In 1997, despite his father’s objections, Josh followed in his footsteps and joined the Marine Corps in Kansas City, Missouri.
As a Sergeant, Josh served as a security guard at a designated embassy. He was also responsible for overseeing amphibious assault tanks, which not only carried cargo but also transported troops in hostile land and water operations. During his six years of service, Josh deployed to Kosovo and Turkey. After suffering a back injury during training, Josh medically retired in June 2003.
Upon his retirement from the military, Josh and his 11-year old son Ty moved to Fair Grove, Missouri. As a single father, Josh wanted to be close to family. His son Ty has been wrestling since kindergarten and hopes to one day make the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
Josh learned of Operation Homefront’s ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program and applied for a house in nearby Forsyth, Missouri. A short time later, he and Ty received the exciting news that they would soon be homeowners.
This new home will not only offer Josh financial stability, it will also allow Ty the opportunity to pursue his passion for wrestling. Ty’s new school has a wrestling team; something his previous school did not.
“My son and I now have a place to call home,” said Joshua. “Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase. My only wish now is to find a way to pay it forward for other veterans like me,” added Joshua.
- Josh and his son Ty moved into their new home in Forsyth, Missouri, this past April.
July 19th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Youness Halouane
Born and raised in Morocco, Youness Halouane enlisted in the military for one primary reason – to become an American citizen. Upon moving to the United States in 2003, Youness enlisted in the U.S. Army in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
As a translator, Youness was responsible for interpreting Arabic communications and translating them to English. He also helped counsel soldiers on Arabic culture. During his five years of service, Youness deployed to Iraq in 2011 and Jordan a year later. Youness medically retired from the Army in June of 2014.
Following his retirement, Youness planted root in Raleigh, North Carolina. He learned of the ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program while doing some on-line research and decided to apply.
A short time later, Youness received the exciting news that he was being awarded a home in Chesapeake, Va. Youness has family in nearby Norfolk and is excited to welcome his wife Aman once she’s able to relocate to the U.S.
The new home will not only allow Youness to visit his family more often, it will also put him closer to his school of choice, Tidewater Community College. Youness plans to study business and pursue a career in hotel management.
“Thank you Operation Homefront and Chase for helping a soldier like me,” said Youness. “This new home means so much. It fits all my needs perfectly!”
- Youness Halouane was awarded a home in Chesapeake, Virginia, and moved in just this past May.
July 18th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Specialist Richard Best
Growing up, U.S. Army Specialist Richard Best remembered seeing pictures of his grandfather, a WWII veteran, and thinking, “I want to wear that uniform someday.” Following high school graduation, Richard and several friends walked into the Army recruiting center in Madison, New Jersey, and enlisted as they all wanted to serve their country.
During his three years of service, Richard served as a wiring specialist installing and maintaining communications systems, switchboards, and other networks to assist with the direct movement of troops. He deployed to Korea and spent time working with the South Koreans. He was honorably discharged in 1982 and married his wife Carolyn in Feb. 1991.
One evening, Richard was watching television and saw Tim McGraw talking about Operation Homefront’s ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. Since he knew he’d never be able to afford a home on his own, Richard decided to apply for the program. He remained faithful that his dream of becoming a homeowner would come true and, two years later, Richard and Carolyn learned that they were being awarded a mortgage-free home in Venice, Fla.
The couple moved in Aug. 2013. “We love our neighborhood,” said Richard. “Since my wife and I were alone here on Thanksgiving, we volunteered to feed the homeless and met a lot of people. We’re just really enjoying it here.” Richard has also volunteered with Operation Homefront several times and looks forward to more opportunities with them down the road. Richard and his wife Carolyn have a daughter and granddaughter who live in Allentown, Pa.
“Thank you all very much,” said Richard. “Without the help, there’s no way we’d be able to experience this part of the American dream.”
- Richard Best and his wife Carolyn moved into their new home in Venice, Fla., August 2013. They will complete the 2-year mentorship program and receive the deed to their home this August.
July 17th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Specialist Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson was born and raised in Evansville, Wisconsin. He joined the Army in Milwaukee in 2006 in order to gain some stability in his life.
As an ammunitions specialist, Matt was responsible for the management of ammunition and explosives. He spent most of his time serving in the infantry and deployed to Iraq. In 2007, Matt sustained a traumatic brain injury. He continued to honorably serve for another two years before medically retiring in 2009.
Matt’s wife Jennifer was the one who learned of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program. She saw a local news program highlighting a veteran who had been awarded a home. Jennifer and Matt applied for a home in Jennifer’s home state of Illinois, and a short time later received the exciting news that the house would soon be theirs.
Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, Matt and his family were awarded a mortgage-free home in Genoa, Illinois, in May 2014.
Jennifer is Matt’s primary caregiver. She celebrated a birthday this week and is excited to be attending the concert this weekend! “As a big Tim McGraw fan, Jennifer and I are very excited about seeing him this weekend,” said Matthew.
“This will be such a great birthday present for her since it’s our very first concert together. We’re so looking forward to it,” added Matt.
- Matt and Jennifer Johnson moved into their home in Genoa, Illinois, May 2014.
July 11th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Alex Minarik
Alex Minarik was raised as part of a military family. As such, he had the opportunity to live in various places around the world including Japan. He spent his early childhood in Dallas, Texas, and then moved to Kentucky. When Alex was a child, he knew for certain that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and enlist in the military. In 2005, he joined the U.S. Army.
As a squad leader, Alex managed two infantry teams of ten people in combat services. He toured Afghanistan in 2007 for one year. In December 2012, he was medically retired with an honorable discharge due to several injuries including those to his back, shoulder, knee and hip.
Alex is married to Katie, and they have two daughters – a three-year-old and a one-year-old. Following his separation from the Army, Alex and Katie moved into a small apartment. A close friend of theirs has recently been awarded a home from Operation Homefront and encouraged them to apply. Alex decided to apply knowing it would be a great opportunity for him and his family. A short time later, Alex and Katie learned that they were being awarded a home in Gastonia, North Carolina.
Alex was recently working for a pharmaceutical company and his contract just ended. He wants to continue working in this field helping veterans identify alternative pain treatments. Alex holds several computer science certifications and is considering using his GI benefits for another certification. Although Katie enjoys being a full-time mom, she hopes to start a small business selling beauty products.
“Receiving this house is really humbling,” said Alex. “This home will help us financially and allow us to save for the future,” added Alex. “It’s a symbol of hope for me and my family.”
“I want to thank Operation Homefront and Chase – this is going to make a huge difference in my life and the lives of others who are part of this program.”
- The Minarik family moved into their home in Gastonia, N.C., April of this year.
July 10th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Edward Garr
Edward Garr grew up in a small town south of Raleigh, North Carolina. He joined the Army because he was impressed by the recruiter he met. Edward’s grandfather, who served in the Navy, is the only family member to have served in the military.
After enlisting in the Army, the Raleigh native moved just an hour south and was stationed at Fort Bragg for his entire enlistment. Edward’s job was in field artillery. From Fort Bragg, Edward deployed twice—once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. He was injured in Iraq and medically discharged in August 2012.
Following Edward’s medical retirement, the Garr family remained in Fayetteville so that their son Dustin could graduate from the high school he was attending. Since Edward’s VA benefits had not been established yet, the family could not afford to remain in the home they were renting. Financial issues forced them to move to Florida and then to South Carolina where they lived with friends for a short time.
Edward learned of Operation Homefront’s ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program while part of the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Bragg. The family applied for several homes before being selected for the one in Gastonia, North Carolina. Edward and his family moved in May of 2014.
Thanks to Operation Homefront and Chase, Edward and his family now have a place they can call home and plant roots. Being selected for a home has really changed the Garr’s life. Edward’s stress level has decreased. In the past, he worried about where he and his family were going to live, and how long they would be able to stay in one place since they have moved frequently.
Edward, his wife Jackie, and their son Dustin have been in their home for just over a year now. As homeowners, they are settling into their new lifestyle. The couple spends time playing with their dogs and enjoy gardening. Their son Dustin is currently attending community college. He decided to remain in the area in order to be close to his parents and help his mother care for Edward. Edward is impressed with the local community, especially the VA facility.
“We are so grateful for everything Chase and Operation Homefront have done for us,” said Edward. “This is a blessing and we really love the house. When we first saw it, we were shocked! It’s so much more than what we expected and more than we could ask for – our life is now peaceful.”
- Edward and Jackie Garr moved into their home in Gastonia, N.C., May 2014.
June 18th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Army Sergeant Nick McCrillis
Service to country has always been very important to Nick McCrillis. Growing up in Reno, Nev., Nick joined the military right out of high school, enlisting in the Army in 1998. Over the course of his military career, Nick served in Korea, as well as Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Drum, N.Y., and deployed twice, once to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2009.
While in Afghanistan, Nick served as a sniper, squad leader and acting platoon sergeant. Performing so many duties made this an extremely busy and dangerous tour for Nick. As a result, Nick suffered multiple injuries, eventually leading to his medical retirement from the Army in 2012.
Since retiring from the Army and moving home, Nick and his wife Angelina have both returned to school. Nick is training to become a dog behaviorist while Angelina is studying history. For Nick and Angelina, family is everything as they have four beautiful children.
A few years ago, Nick learned of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homesfront’ program. He saw the home in Sparks, Nev., posted online and decided to apply. A short time later, the family learned that the home would soon be theirs and moved in October 2012. Nick and his family are approaching the end of their 3-year mentorship and will be awarded the deed to their home this October.
“This home has been a tremendous help to our family and a huge financial burden off of my shoulders,” said Nick. “It’s a place we can come home to every night and call ours. Never having to move again is a big deal to us because we have family and friends here, and it’s exciting that our children can build a life and make friends.”
“I’ve seen Tim McGraw honor veterans at other concerts. Experiencing it first hand will be really exciting,” added Nick. “As a big country music fan, I’m definitely looking forward to the show!”
- Nick and Angelina McCrillis moved into their home in Sparks, Nev., October 2012; they are set to complete their 3-year mentorship and receive the deed to their home this October.
June 12th, 2015 – Veteran Home Recipient: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class Scott Landrum
With a desire to serve his country, Scott Landrum enlisted in the Navy in his hometown of Claremore, Okla., in 1991. Though born in Fort Thomas, Ky., Scott and his family moved to Oklahoma when he was in the third grade.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Scott served as a Surgical Tech Corpsman. He was stationed at a naval hospital in Oakland, Calif., where he conducted surveys on soldiers returning home from the Gulf War. After two years of service, Scott medically retired in February 1993.
Scott is currently residing in Covington, Ky., in a small apartment he shares with his wife Amy and her two teenage children. After losing his job four years ago, Scott has had trouble securing a home for his new family. Scott is currently working at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. As a result, he has started to take care of prior financial debts and improve his life overall.
After learning of Operation Homefront and their ‘Homes on the Homefront’ program, Scott applied for the home in Cincinnati, Ohio. A short time later, he learned that the home would soon be theirs.
With a new mortgage-free home in his future, Scott can make plans for him and his family. He hopes to continue taking care of vets at the Cincinnati VA while finishing nursing school. Both he and his wife are enrolled in nursing school and will graduate this December.
“This is a complete life changer,” said Scott Landrum. “This home will provide us with a place we can all call home. Thank you so much for this gift. It’s a blessing that cannot be put into words!”
Scott and Amy Landrum expect to move into their new home in Cincinnati, Ohio, next month.
Chase is committed to serving the unique needs of America’s military, veterans and their families through employment, housing and education programs. Since 2011, the firm has hired more than 8,800 veterans and provided more than 800 mortgage-free homes to military families in partnership with Operation Homefront and other non-profit organizations. To learn more about Chase’s military and veterans affairs programs, visit ChaseMilitary.com.
About Operation Homefront:
A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.
About Tim McGraw:
Tim McGraw has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and dominated the singles charts with 36 #1 singles. He’s won three Grammy Awards, 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Music Awards, three People’s Choice Awards and numerous other honors. His iconic career achievements include being named the BDS Most Played Artist of the Decade for all music genres and having the Most Played Song of the Decade for all music genres with “Something Like That.” He is the most played Country artist since his debut in 1992, with two singles spending over 10 weeks at #1 (“Live Like You Were Dying” and “Over and Over”). His critically acclaimed acting skills were highlighted in the award winning Friday Night Lights and The Blind Side. Tim currently stars in Disney’s Tomorrowland, in theaters now.