WACO, Texas (KWTX) Retired Army Master Sgt. Marc Seal, stepped into a finished and furnished home Monday, which belongs to him, mortgage-free, thanks to a national non-profit, Operation Finally Home, local builder Sorrells and Co., and cash and service donations from hundreds of companies.
"Wow, I am so overwhelmed, it is incredible,” Seal said.
"I made it three feet in the door and turned into a big sobbing baby and then my mom cried, and everybody knows when my mom cries everybody starts crying."
The three-bedroom, two-bath home in Waco had been a dream in the making since October of 2015 when the family first broke ground on the property.
Seal joined the Army in 1990, and eventually joined the Texas Army National Guard in 2001.
He deployed twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, and suffered injuries during three of his four deployments including damage to his left eye and ear, shoulder, rotator cuff and labrum injuries, and a traumatic brain injury.
Seal’s previous home was a 2013 RV, which he said was nice, but did not provide enough room for him, his dog, and his belongings.
With his new home in China Spring, he now has plenty of room and no financial burden.
"When you are medically retired out, and I didn't reach 20 years of service so I didn't reach retirement, I live on VA disability and basically your income is cut in half,” Seal said.
Now he has one less financial burden all thanks to hundreds of companies, local businesses, neighbors, and friends who even took the time to stock his cabinets and pantry with needed household items and foods.
Ronnie Lyles, the Project Manager for Operation Finally Home, said this is the 102nd home to be built for veterans by the non-profit.
“Our mission is to provide custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s wounded and injured veterans, as well as, the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms and vales,” Lyles said.
To honor his service, Seal has received more than 40 military honors, including a Purple Heart Medal and three Bronze Stars.
“You know it is just so nice for (Seal) to be able to have a period of peace now after giving so much to our country,” said Steve Sorrells, president of Sorrells & Co.
Now, Seal will move in with his dog and begin living life to the fullest in his new home.
“The memories that we can make sitting by the fire on Christmas morning, how can you put a price on that? I can't,” Seal said.
“How can you thank all of these people enough?”