Every hero deserves to be homeward bound eventually. After all, no matter their deed or dedication, a hero has no greater impact than when they bring their love safely back home to their family.
That’s why the Northeast Florida Division of Lennar resolved to team up with Operation FINALLY HOME, a non-profit that has been providing housing to veterans, first responders, and widows of the fallen for just over 15 years.
The two businesses scoured Northeast Florida for a veteran they could bestow an affordable home to as a means of honoring their dedication and bravery.
Thus, in September of 2020, Lennar was honored to witness the impact their dedication had on local military hero Bradley Thomas — a retired sergeant from the U.S. Marine Corps.
On Sept. 28, 2020, Lennar and Operation FINALLY HOME hosted a surprise groundbreaking ceremony to welcome the Thomas family home to their newest mortgage-free house in Lennar’s Amelia Walk community.
“We offer programs specifically to help service members like Sgt. Thomas and his family. That’s why so many of the homes we sold in this market have been to sailors, soldiers and veterans,” said Division President Matt Devereaux of Lennar Jacksonville. “It’s an honor for us at Lennar to give back to our military community. Providing this mortgage-free home for an incredible and deserving family is just the start. Supporting our military veterans is an important part of Lennar’s mission and always will be.”
Having grown up with a family whose personal history involved many years of military service, Thomas himself was committed to the same path and served a total of eight years with the U.S. Marine Corps.
As a result of his bravery and commitment, he had also received a number of accolades, including a Combat Action Ribbon (Afghanistan), two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and a National Defense Service Medal.
His career, however, was forever impacted on Jan. 11, 2011, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). After four years of continuing to serve despite his injuries —including spinal damage and back problems — Sgt. Thomas stepped away from military service in 2015.
Upon his return home, Sgt. Thomas became involved with a military non-profit that not only aided his journey, but offered him a job and kept him moving in the midst of a battle against PTSD and continued physical pain.
Thus, he resolved to launch his own military non-profit, designed to provide veterans with guiding hunts and fishing charters as an outlet for healing.
When not involved in providing service for his fellow military veterans, he prefers to spend his time cooking, meditating, and playing sports and listening to music with his family — all of which he can now enjoy under the roof of his newest mortgage-free home.
“The coronavirus pandemic has certainly taught us how important home is, now more than ever,” Executive Director Rusty Carroll of Operation FINALLY HOME explained. “With that in mind, we’re honored to provide Bradley Thomas and his family with the gift of this home during these unprecedented times.”
As one of America’s largest and leading quality homebuilders, Lennar has an extensive history of making homeownership a more accessible endeavor for military veterans and families across the First Coast — and the nation.
To learn more or begin your own journey homeward bound, contact Lennar today.