SAN ANGELO, TX -- An Afganistan war hero was honored with a free new home on Thursday morning thanks to Operation Finally Home.
Operation Finally Home along with Michael Biggerstaff Homes and the Home Builders Association of San Angelo teamed up to construct a new home for Ian Rook and his family.
"We know that home ownership is one of the greatest dreams every American has today," says Mayor of San Angelo Brenda Gunter.
The mayor of San Angelo along with State Representative Drew Darby was in attendance today to dedicate the home to the Rooks.
"The fact that we have been able to put together a home for a veteran is incredible," says Gunter.
According to the mayor, the Home Builders Association gives close to $1 million per year to the San Angelo community.
Michael Biggerstaff Homes played a pivotal role in the construction of the home. Biggerstaff who serves as the vice president and secretary of the Texas Association of Builders says that he's forever grateful for the outpouring of support to a cause that gives back.
"I know every one of you and who you are and what you've done," says Biggerstaff. "When you look at it in the perspective that I look at it what more can you give society than put your life on the line? That's what this man did."
For Ian Rook who served in Afganistan in a variety of jobs including rifleman, driver, and brigade radio operator, suffered a broken back and injured hips along with PTSD and other ailments.
Rook continues to serve his community as a deputy sheriff for the Tom Green County Sheriff's Department.
According to Rook he was encouraged to apply for the Operation Finally Home program but in the beginning, was hesitant because he felt there were others in need.
It wasn't until another conversation with Operation Finally Home Project Manager Ronnie Lyles that he was encouraged to give the application process a try.
"He kinda put things into perspective," says U.S. Army Private First Class Ian Rook. "We found out last February that we were selected for Operation Finally Home and we were going to receive a mortgage-free home and it's been just incredible since then."
Rook says it's been the best feeling he's had knowing that the community chose to build a home to build for him and his family.
"It's safety and security for my family. I get to watch my kids play in their rooms and grow up in a house that they can call their own and that's something that I never knew wouldn't ever happen."
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