Wounded Iraq veteran receives new home - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Wounded Iraq veteran receives new home

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A wounded Iraq War Veteran and his family are settling into a brand new home in Round Rock thanks to the non-profit Helping a Hero.

The timing of this gift couldn't be any better just five days before Christmas.

"Oh my gosh. It's beautiful," said Army SFC Scott Lathan seconds after walking into his home.

"Military guys and women don't expect this for what we do and to think there are people this generous. We're just doing our jobs and this is the best Christmas gift ever," said Lathan.

He and his wife Sarah received keys from their favorite baseball player Roger Clemens.

"These guys are our heroes, our real heroes," said Clemens. "We've said it many times, freedom isn't free,"

Clemens serves on the Advisory Board for Helping a Hero. It's a non-profit supporting soldiers injured in the War on Terror. So far, the non-profit has helped heroes get into 64 homes. In 2014, the organization will dedicate 40 bringing the total to more than 100 in 22 states.

"Scott and Sarah are very unique. He served 20 years in the military and has a Bronze Star and four Army Commendation medals and a Purple Heart and they have become an awesome mentoring couple to others," said Meredith Iler, the chairman of Helping a Hero

Lathan's injuries are both physical and invisible. In 2006, he was injured in Iraq when his humvee hit an IED. He's had multiple knee surgeries.

He's been treated for severe PTSD along with a brain injury. On top of those medical bills, his wife Sarah has lupus.

"There's a lot of worries sometimes and to know we have this home waiting for us it has taken a lot of press off of us," said Lathan.

"Now we can be grounded. We've got stability and this is where we are going to grow old," said his wife, Sarah.

To build the house the non-profit teamed up wtih Standard Pacific Homes. Austin Division President John Bohnen is an Army veteran himself.

"As a former Army officer to be able to reconnect with a lot of brothers is important and special and it's rewarding to reconnect with these guys," said Bohnen.

The Lathan's received a hero's welcome from the community and plan to pay it forward. The decorated war veteran is forever grateful knowing he and his family are finally home.

"As long as I'm able to be here with my family that's all that matters to me whether I'm hurt or not," said Lathan.


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