A special homecoming is being put together in Round Rock for one of our wounded warriors. A non-profit volunteer group called Helping a Hero is having a house built!
It began with shovels filled with dirt, followed with a promise. By Thanksgiving a corner vacant lot will be transformed into a home for Scott Lathan and his wife.
"Don't deserve it, but I thank you so much and I plan to pay it forward," said Lathan.
In 2006, while serving in Iraq, Lathan was severely wounded. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. But Monday morning it was a gift from Congressman Michael McCaul.
"I want to present to you a flag that was flown over the US Capitol in your honor," said the Congressman.
The gift was a real surprise for Lathan.
"Whew, it is amazing. I wasn't expecting anything like that ... that's like a once in a life time thing the flag means so much to us ... and that's a special flag right there," said Lathan.
A non-profit selected the Lathan's for its first home built in the metro Austin area. Meredith Iler started the organization seven years ago. Since then about 90 families have been signed up.
"We now have thousands and thousands of volunteers in 21 states helping us say thank you in a tangible, way to these wounded warriors," said Iler.
The developer of Paloma Lake subdivision provided the lot for the latest project construction will be managed by standard pacific homes the second it will build for the group.
"It's a partnership between the developer the builder the community and we are able then to leave the hero with just a very small mortgage of $50,000 and give then a home that's good for a life time," said Iler.
While Scott and his wife wait for the keys to their home, Kyle Malin has already experienced the emotional homecoming that's awaiting them. Malin moved into his New Braunfels helping a hero home back in October.
"It's a real overwhelming feeling of excitement and security relaxation all ... just all balled into one."
Mailin and others like that Lathans are required to live in their new homes for at least 10 years.
Property taxes are waived and utilities are usually discounted or paid through other support programs.
The organization plans to have 11 more ground breakings later this summer.