MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - On Thursday morning, a family of three walked into their new, mortgage-free home in Mt. Pleasant with a lot of gratitude in their hearts.
“People usually mortgage a home for 30 years and all that’s done,” retired U.S. Army Sergeant, Jacob Valdez, said. “It’s just a blessing.”
Wells Fargo and the Military Warriors Support Foundation donated the home to the family. While in the Army, Valdez received several military honors, including a Purple Heart, as he completed three tours in Iraq and a tour in South Korea before retiring.
Valdez said he was looking for scholarships for Purple Heart veterans and stumbled on the organization. His wife encouraged him to apply.
“A few months later we got a phone call and it was just amazing, amazing news,” Valdez added.
Wells Fargo donates homes to Military Warriors Support Foundation for use in its Homes4WoundedHeroes program, which awards mortgage-free homes and three years of family and financial mentoring to assist combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star spouses in their transition from the military to civilian life.
“I want to tell other veterans out there that there are great organizations out there to help them and you’re not alone," Valdez said. "And not just organizations, but me, myself and fellow veterans are always here to help.”
The family is excited to moved into their forever home and would like to start a school for at-risk youth focusing on STEM and arts education.
Since 2010, Military Warriors Support Foundation has awarded nearly 1,000 mortgage-free homes and has assisted combat-wounded veterans, Gold Star spouses and their families in paying off nearly $21 million in debt through mentorship. Since 2012, Wells Fargo has donated more than 400 homes, valued at over $60 million, for veterans in all 50 states.