Gulfport veteran gifted a mortgage-free home
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulfport veteran received the gift of a lifetime Friday: A mortgage-free home.
Retired Army Specialist James Dyson and his wife, Tammy, received the generous gift from the group Building Homes for Heroes.
Dyson joined the military in 1996 and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan before being honorably discharged in 2014.
While serving in Afghanistan in September 2009 on FOB Kundoz, he was on top of an MRAP vehicle when his unit began taking on indirect fire. As he quickly tried to get down, he fell from the vehicle landing on his back and was knocked unconscious. From the fall, he suffered a TBI and injuries to his shoulder and back.
As the Dysons walked into their new home, they were speechless. Tammy said it was way more than she expected.
James was amazed at the gift, saying, “Just being the person I am, how do I pay it forward?”
“I explained to him that he is deserving as any other veteran, injured or not, because he took his life and went overseas and did what he did, his bravery. And just to do that just so you and I can stand here and do this,” said Rusty Smallwood of Building Homes for Heroes.
JPMorgan Chase donated the Gulfport home to Building Homes for Heroes. It’s one of more than 1,050 mortgage-free homes the company has gifted to veterans and their families through their Military Home Awards Program in collaboration with nonprofits, such as Building Homes for Heroes.
Building Homes for Heroes was started by a New York business executive, Andy Pujol, who founded the charity after volunteering in search-and-rescue efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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