SAN ANTONIO — Saturday morning a family received a lifechanging gift designed to help honor one of our nation's heroes.
The family on how this homecoming is one they will never forget.
“Mind-blowing isn’t good enough. Mind-blowing? Yeah, mind-blowing,” said Sergeant First Class Chris and Catherine Livesay.
Dozens of people gathered at the Livesay’s home this morning to welcome the family to their new home.
“We’re very amazed,” said Catherine.
They smiled as everyone in attendance lined the driveway waving American flags and cheered.
“It is really nice. We’ve been trying to find the word,” said Catherine.
An hour after arriving the family go their first chance to see the inside of their new home, which was fully furnished for them.
it’s all part of a program called Homes for our Troops.
Director of Development Chris Mitchell explains their purpose
“Our mission to donate to severely injured Veterans mortgage free homes anywhere they want to live in the country,” said Mitchell.
In 2003, Chris was shot in the left knee while serving in Iraq. His leg ended up needing to be amputated.
The new home is fully ADA accessible with more than 40 special adaptations, which include wider doorways, roll under sinks and countertops and a roll in shower.
That’s why it’s a life changing homecoming for the Livesay family. This home will give them the chance to be able to have less stress about potential hazards for Chris.
President and CEO Tom Landwermeyer said this home is their way of giving back.
“What they’ve done is basically sacrifice their freedom of independence for the rest of us. What these homes do is provide them a completely safe and fully accessible home,” said Landwermeyer.
The family got the chance to talk to everyone who came out to support them before getting the chance to go inside for the first time. They were also given an American flag that they put on a flagpole outside their home.
Once inside, their new neighbors came to introduce themselves while the family was amazed by the work done by the HFOT team.
“It’s pretty amazing the dedication, the passion the love those guys have for us. This community has been great. There’s a lot of veterans here,” said Chris. He will now become a homeschool teacher to his two children and volunteer with Veteran's groups around town.
While a majority of money for the homes comes from donors and individuals there are also community sponsors. The Community Sponsors for this project are HEB Tournament of Champions, Pepsi, Unilever, and Anheuser-Busch.
If you would like to learn more about the project and how to nominate someone to get a home you can visit HFOT’s website here.