ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Army National Guard Veteran and his family are settling in to a new home because of Operation Homefront and Wells Fargo.
It represents a new start for Chris Marinaro and his family, who are ready to start a new life after moving to Albany from Kentucky.
The brand new home on West Gordon Avenue has three bedrooms, a two-car garage, and deck in the backyard. The family received the keys to the house Thursday afternoon, and saw it for the first time.
"Everything's so pretty and beautiful. It's not fallen apart. It's amazing to know that this is ours," said Chris Marinaro.
After he was honorably discharged from the Army six years ago, Chris and his family have been moving from town to town, but are ready to call Albany their home.
"We lived in Austin, we lived in Houston and Kentucky, and now we're here," he said.
Chris Marinaro has struggled with the effects of the Iraq war, and said he has had to deal with death, survival guilt, and depression.
But a non-profit called Operation Homefront lead the charge to help Chris and his wife become homeowners. The organization works with military families to provide financial assistance.
"That's one of the beautiful things about working with Wells Fargo: the amount of commitment we have with our community," said Steve Cook who works for Wells Fargo. "And it's not every day we get to say here's the keys to your new home, mortgage free."
After two months of waiting, Chris' wife Nicole surprised him with the news.
"He was like, 'Oh goodness what now?' because you never know, and I said, 'We got the house!' and we started crying 'cause God's so amazing," she said. said Nicole Marinaro.
And this new home will help start a whole new chapter. "And that means a lot to us to live the American dream, have a home to call our own now," said Chris Marinaro.
The Marinaros are ready to settle into their new lives and begin the rebuilding process. The Marinaro kids will be home schooled, and Chris wants to enroll in Albany Tech to major in Construction Management.