Valdosta veteran gets keys to new home - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta veteran gets keys to new home

One Valdosta veteran received a mortgage free home (Source: WALB) One Valdosta veteran received a mortgage free home (Source: WALB)
Cutting the ribbon to their new home (Source: WALB) Cutting the ribbon to their new home (Source: WALB)
They saw the completed home for the first time (Source: WALB) They saw the completed home for the first time (Source: WALB)
Rusty Carroll (Source: WALB) Rusty Carroll (Source: WALB)
Willie Walden Jr. (Source: WALB) Willie Walden Jr. (Source: WALB)
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

A crowd gathered around one Valdosta neighborhood home to dedicate it to one American hero.

Army veteran Willie Walden Junior and his family cut the ribbon and walked through the door of their brand new home. 

"It's something that I never imagined, my family never imagined. The best way I can describe it is like living in a dream," exclaims Willie. 

Operation Finally Home partnered with Wilson Design & Construction to build the custom home. They say it comes at just one cost.

"This home is mortgage free; it will cost Willie nothing," says Operation Finally Home Executive Director Rusty Carroll, "no more than what he's already served to his country."

Willie joined the military in 2003 as a combat medic. After 11 years of service he medically retired. Now he is coping with chronic injuries to his knees and shoulders and post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Operation Finally Home turned the keys over to the family May 25, 2016. 

"It's just such an honor to serve those that have served us. To see the challenges that these individuals have gone through and to know that we're helping in a small way," says Carroll. 

But Willie says it's no small blessing. 

"It feels good! It's an easy move when you move to a community like this," Willie says.

Now he's looking forward to one thing.

"I'm excited about my back porch! I'm ready to go sit on my back porch!" exclaims Willie. 

This is the 8th home Operation Finally home has dedicated to a veteran this year. 

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