The slogan Virginia is for Lovers took on another form this week as a local Virginia community welcomed a wounded veteran and his family to the area. US Army Sgt Michael Goodrich and his family were welcomed to the North Stafford, Virginia area a few months before their house will be ready by the “Operation Finally Home” program.
Goodrich and his family were awarded a brand new, custom-built home during a tribute on Veteran’s Day at the Washington Wizards game. As an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, Goodrich served two tours and was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2011. He’s a recipient of a Purple Heart, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal, both with Campaign Stars.
During the “Notes of Love” event on February 13 the community that will welcome the Goodrich family gathered to write words of inspiration, thanks, and love on the frame of the house. Bare studs and headers now have notes from a grateful community.
Several organizations have joined forces to complete the Goodrich’s home including Miller & Smith, Embrey Mill by Newland Communities, Atlantic Builders, Drees Homes, Integrity Homes, K Honvanian Homes, Lennar, Stafford, Virginian and Stanley Martin Homes. There will be a special ceremony to dedicate the house and present the Goodrich family with their keys in May. The home will be located in a Newland Communities master-planned neighborhood in Embrey Mill. As an added bonus to the family, the home will be mortgage free.
“We are blessed to work with such dedicated building partners and a local community which supports those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” says Rusty Carroll, Executive Director of Operation FINALLY HOME. “The Goodrich family will feel the impact from these ‘Notes of Love’ each time they walk through the doors of their home.”
The Goodrich Family will join many other families across the country in receiving a home. Carroll said, “There are over 200 homes in 33 states that have either been completed or are in planning or production – and we continue to grow!” Operation FINALLY HOME, a nonprofit, began in 2005 and sticks to its mission of providing mortgage-free homes built specifically for the needs of military heroes and their widows. They work with corporate sponsors and individual contributors along with builders, developers and volunteers to help veterans have a home that suits their needs.
The vice president of Miller & Smith, one of the top privately owned building and development firms in the Washington, D.C. area joined Operation FINALLY HOME to present this home to Sgt. Goodrich. “It is an honor and a privilege to gather with family, friends and members of the community and surround the Goodrich family with ‘Notes of Love’,” he said in a press release. “With the guidance of Operation FINALLY HOME and the support of Newland Communities and our builder partners in Embrey Mill, we have made amazing progress in ensuring delivery of a beautiful custom home to a very deserving family.”
You can watch the speech that Michael Goodrich gave at the Notes of Love ceremony HERE.
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