Home builders associations across the country often work with veterans’ groups to provide support and help address their housing needs. This year, members of the Home Builders Association of Dayton (HBAD) partnered with Operation FINALLY HOME and JM Dungan Custom Homes to provide a home for a deserving veteran.
“When approached by Operation FINALLY HOME in 2018, they presented the opportunity to share the gift of a new home to a family from my own community. I was immediately interested and made the verbal commitment on the spot,” said Josh Dungan of JM Dungan Custom Homes, and 2018 HBAD President. “With the help of generous donations via Operation FINALLY HOME affiliates and the local membership of the HBA of Dayton we were able to deliver a beautiful home to a very deserving Marine veteran and his family. We as a company were honored and proud to be a part of this process.”
Earlier this year, U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Aaron Zurn and his family received the keys to their new mortgage-free, custom-built home in Vandalia, Ohio. Members of the HBAD, including 84 Lumber Company and The Requarth Co. and many others, contributed to the home.
“Dayton is America’s most military-friendly community and widely regarded for our support of our local service men and women, and JM Dungan Custom Homes and Operation FINALLY HOME provided a powerful demonstration of this sentiment,” said HBAD Executive Director Eric Farrell.
“The HBA of Dayton wanted to offer our support for the selfless service of heroes, like Aaron and his family, and playing a small role in this endeavor was a great way to do that.”
Sergeant Zurn served his country for more than 10 years. He began his service with two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine Corps Rifleman. On his first deployment to Fallujah, Zurn witnessed a fellow Marine killed by a rocket-propelled grenade within 10 minutes of arrival. That introduction and the fierce fighting the Marines faced in Fallujah, still impact his life today.
In 2010, Zurn sought a new challenge and reenlisted as a “jump qualified” Marine Special Operations Forces (MARSOF) operator. He deployed twice with MARSOF, and his company was frequently exposed to heavy enemy fire, ambush and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). During his final deployment, Zurn fell out of a helicopter and was knocked unconscious, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He medically retired in 2016.
Zurn suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bilateral hearing loss, knee injuries and other injuries from being a paratrooper. For his service, Zurn received numerous awards, including two Combat Action Ribbons, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Accommodation Medal with a Bronze V, and the Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Before enlisting, Zurn married his middle-school sweetheart, Brittany, who serves as his primary caregiver. Together, they have three children and a service dog.
“There is no way we would have ever been able to do something this big for our kids,” Brittany Zurn told the Dayton Daily News. “Aaron has had a huge weight lifted off his shoulders as he has always been a wonderful provider. We are beyond grateful to everyone involved!”