A gold star family is one step closer to achieving the American Dream of homeownership thanks to Operation: Coming Home (OCH), an initiative of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County (N.C). The program builds and gives away Hero Homes to military members and their families thanks to the generosity of local home builders and subcontractors.
The Bradley family is the recipient of a home this year. Staff Sgt. Juantrea T. Bradley, 28, of Greenville, N.C., died on March 12, 2008, in Tallil, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle was hit by indirect fire. He received many awards and decorations for his dedication and service, including a Purple Heart. He is survived by his wife, Ava Lanette Bradley, three sons and one daughter.
“The first 5-6 years, it was really rough,” Ava Lanette Bradley, told a local news station. “Then, you rely on your faith, which we were, you know, a faith abundant family before then. He wasn’t afraid of death. So, I feel like you did what you were supposed to do. He was like, I do this for my country. He did what he needed to do. And now, I have to do what I have to do.”
Earlier this year, Bradley thought she was invited to attend an initial meeting at a model home with a builder and developer as part of the application process for OCH. When the family arrived at the model home, to their surprise they learned they were selected as this year’s recipient. On Oct. 6, OCH held a “Sign the Studs” event to mark the halfway point of the new build.
“For us, it’s really special,” said Alaina Money-Garman, Garman Homes CEO, the home builder for the Bradley family. “To be able to build a home for another woman to have a woman own company building for a widow of a fallen soldier is really special for all of us.”
“It is difficult to measure the amount of pride and patriotism that our involvement with Operation: Coming Home brings to our members and our leaders,” said Paul Kane, executive officer of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County. “Honestly, the Key Ceremony, when we hand over the keys of the beautiful new home to a recipient, is one of the favorite parts of my job.”
OCH was created by a group of local veterans and members from the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County in 2007 to serve severely wounded veterans. The Bradley family is the 27th recipient of an OCH Hero Home.