Veteran receives mortgage-free home

Veteran receives mortgage-free home
The great new house doesn't come with a mortgage (Source: WALB)
The great new house doesn't come with a mortgage (Source: WALB)
Part of the Hampe family (Source: Raun Hampe)
Part of the Hampe family (Source: Raun Hampe)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Lowndes County veteran finds new meaning in the phrase "Home Sweet Home."

Air Force Veteran Raun Hampe was handed the keys to his mortgage-free home Thursday, thanks to an organization called 'Operation Homefront.'

Hampe and his family were speechless as they stood outside their new home.

"I'm overwhelmed, its a beautiful, amazing feeling," said Hampe

Hampe was flooded with emotions as he received the keys to his new home, and the best part is that it is completely free; a dream he never thought possible.

Operation Homefront's primary goal is to help veterans in need of critical financial assistance, transitional, and permanent housing.

Hampe heard about the program and applied.

"When I applied, I didn't expect it to be me. I felt like there were more deserving people out there. People go through stuff all the time," said Hampe.

Hampe joined the Air Force in 2002, retiring in 2010, due to post-traumatic stress disorder.

He had been deployed three times.

Once retired, Raun's parents moved in with him, and tragedy struck when his father died, and he was left to care for his mother.

"His dad, my husband, passed away about four years ago. If it wasn't for him, I don't know where I'd be… he helps me tremendously," said Diane Hampe.

Hampe is also a single dad sharing custody of his son. He said this home will help him regain everything he's fought so hard to keep: his family.

"It's financial stability, it's going to be closer to my son, closer to VA facilities. It's just going to open a lot of doors, and make a lot of things better,"  said Hampe.

Operation Homefront partners with J-P Morgan Chase to provide these homes to veterans. Over 600 homes have been donated since 2002.

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