Former Army Sgt. Richard Neider, wounded while on active duty, and his family answer questions about their new home in Goodyear. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Elisa Cordova)
Veteran organization unlocks the door to three new homes
In partnership with Operation Homefront, Meritage Homes handed off the keys to a brand new mortgage-free home in Goodyear to Army Sgt. Richard Neider and his family Monday.
The 2,300-square-foot home includes features such as wider doors, roll-in showers, roll-under sinks and lower light switches that will allow Neider to use his wheelchair inside of the home. It is located in Meritage's Del Mar at Sedella community near Indian School and Citrus Road.
When the door first opened, Neider's eyes welled up with tears followed by an ear-to-ear smile.
"It opened up my world again and my family's world," he said. "It's just unbelievable. I can't thank them enough for everything after seeing how beautiful this home is. They've put it all out there for us."
Neider's wife, Kerry, said owning a home was put aside for the family when his injuries began to get worse.
"We didn't have a set time on being able to get a new home," she said. "This is a dream come true."
Meritage also provided mortgage-free homes to military families in San Antonio, TX and Raleigh, N.C.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Army Sergeant Jeffrey Lynch was selected to receive a 2,066 square foot home in Cary, N.C. The home is just half an hour away from Duke University, where Jeffrey receives specialized medical treatment. Both Jeffrey and his wife Christy have family nearby in Fayetteville. They are parents of a four-year-old daughter.
Army Sergeant Aaron Kumamoto was selected to receive the new 1,508 square foot home in Converse, Texas. Aaron and his wife Erica have lived in the San Antonio area for six years. The new home will provide the family with a place of their own, close to San Antonio Military Medical Center, where Aaron receives his medical treatment. The couple is also looking forward to keeping their son Logan close to their family and friends.
“It’s very rare that I get tears in my eyes, but somebody found a way to do it,” said Neider. “It’s amazing that somebody was willing to do something like this for me. It’s just amazing.”
Each one of the veterans was selected based on a number of qualifications including, but not limited to, family needs and ties to the community. These homes are the first three newly built homes provided through Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program. Tim Farrell, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, says that working with Meritage is a major opportunity for the program to serve military families in a new way.
Originally published by KTAR News Radio. All rights reserved.