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Organization pays entire mortgage for Central Texas gold star family

Published: May. 28, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - This is an unforgettable Memorial Day weekend for one area gold star family.

An organization geared toward helping first-responders and veteran families announced it paid off the mortgage for a Killeen family. Kaycee Lee and her family are one of 21 who had their entire mortgages paid off this weekend.

It has been nearly 11 years since her husband, Sgt. Dennis Lee, died while in service.

“I know he’s above watching down on us, so,” said Kaycee Lee.

Some of the special photos and gifts she was given by his unit and other military members are now kept in a box inside the attic. Kayce Lee said her intention is to keep them in perfect condition so she can give them to her son one day.

Sgt. Dennis Lee joined the Army in 2006. Before his death in 2011, he had a couple deployments in the Middle East.

It was during that time he met Kaycee Lee through social media. That is when they became friends and were eventually married.

“He was like, really I would love to have a pen pal. Just be a freinds,” said Kaycee Lee. “So we just communicated while he was over there.”

After his death, Kaycee Lee was left behind with a son still in diapers, navigating ways to get benefits to stay afloat by herself.

“You don’t feel like going through paperwork,” she said. “You don’t feel like listening, it sounds like Charlie Brown when people are talking to you.”

For years she was doing it along. That even prompted her to start a Facebook group to help other widows in the same situation.

And it was through that group she found out about something called Tunnel to Towers.

“You don’t want to fit our criteria, believe me, you don’t want to fit our criteria,” said Frank Siller, the chairman and ceo of the foundation. “So the ones that are getting these houses have paid a big price for our freedom.”

It was that organization which was able to pay off the mortgage for Kaycee Lee’s home.

“As you know, those who serve our country, they don’t make a lot of money …. so, God forbid, something like this happens, where are they going to go live?” he said.

And for Kaycee Lee, this is some reassurance that she will have a place to store those gifts that she wants to pass on to her son.

“And I was like, see this is a gift from Dennis,” she said. “And I’ll always feel like I feel him watching over us. That was very touching.”

Donation information for Tunnel to Towers can be found here.

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