The soldiers who leave home to serve their country make the ultimate sacrifice by risking their lives defending America’s freedoms. While some of these heroes never return, many who do come home are challenged with resuming “normal” lives while dealing with physical and emotional injuries. But in 2005, home builder Dan Wallrath found a way to help veterans find peace back at home.
According to CNN, Wallrath met that year with a friend, Steve Schulz, who needed to remodel his home to accommodate a wheelchair for his son. Schulz’ son was a Marine returning home after suffering serious injuries in Iraq and photos of the young man touched Wallrath deeply.
Despite specializing in building, and not remodeling, Wallrath and his team did the job for free. After it was completed, Wallrath realized he had stumbled upon an opportunity to positively affect many lives and, from that experience, Operation FINALLY HOME was born. It has grown into a national effort.
Based in New Braunfels, Texas, just outside San Antonio, Operation FINALLY HOME, or OFH, is a non-profit organization that gives back to U.S. military veterans by building custom homes for them and their families. Each home is mortgage-free, and the organization pays the homes’ property taxes and insurance for the first year.