A U.S. Army veteran and his family received the news of a lifetime this Christmas. They were chosen to receive a brand-new mortgage-free home in Land O’Lakes, Florida, donated by PulteGroup through the company’s Built to Honor program in partnership with nonprofit Operation FINALLY HOME.

Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Javier Torres was severely injured while deployed in Afghanistan in 2004.  His platoon was ambushed, and his HUMVEE was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. He was shot three times during the firefight and his fellow soldiers protected him before he was eventually medevacked.  For his service, he was awarded several honors including the Purple Heart.

Torres, his wife Stephanie, and their four daughters currently live in an apartment in Land O’Lakes. Torres continues to suffer from PTSD and other challenges related to his gunshot wounds which has made it a difficult journey for him and his family. They have dreamed of owning their own home for a long time where they could raise their family and establish a positive support system for Javier.

“We just want to have a place to call our own, where our family can grow without having to move constantly,” said Torres.

PulteGroup’s West Florida division surprised the family on Tuesday, December 22, notifying them via video conference that they would be building the Torres family a home from the ground up in their Arden Preserve community located in Land O’Lakes. The single-story home will include four bedrooms and three bathrooms with more than 2,100 square feet.  Pulte will break ground on the home in the new year and expect to deliver it to the Torres family in early summer.

“It is a privilege for Pulte employees, along with our trade partners and suppliers, to be able to give back to our nation’s veterans in a meaningful way,” said Sean Strickler, President of Pulte’s West Florida division. “Javier, Stephanie and their beautiful family are so deserving of this gift. We look forward to working with them as we build this home to meet their needs and help them begin to create wonderful new memories in this next chapter of their lives.”

The Torres family worked closely with Operation FINALY HOME, which partners with builders like PulteGroup to provide homes and home modifications to America’s military heroes and first responders.

“We are extremely grateful to PulteGroup and their Built to Honor program for supporting our veterans and military families with mortgage-free homes,” said Rusty Carroll, executive director of Operation FINALLY HOME. “We’re humbled to work with this organization to fulfill the Torres’ dream of owning a home.”

PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program was launched in 2013 to recognize and thank returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to identify veteran candidates. This will be the West Florida division’s fourth home being provided in the Tampa Bay area since 2015.

Since 2013, the Built to Honor program has delivered homes to more than 55 veterans and their families as they transition out of the military and into a new phase of their lives. As a top homebuilder, providing a home is the best way for PulteGroup to give back to the nation’s service members.