Wounded veteran, family receives new home in Biloxi through the Military Warriors Support Foundation
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - It was a homecoming worthy of a motorcade, and a welcome full of hugs, as the Diehn family got to see their new home in Biloxi for the first time.
“It’s life-changing for us,” said Michael Diehn, who earned a Purple Heart while serving in the Army. “It’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for us so we can do what we want to do in our life.”
Diehn’s wife, Jess, was equally overwhelmed.
“All I can say is we love you guys,” she said. “We appreciate all your support. Words can’t say what I feel right now, to be honest.”
Diehn and his family of five were selected through the Military Warriors Support Foundation to receive the house, donated by Bank of America.
“I, myself, am a United States Air Force veteran,” said Andrea Dellinger, senior vice president of the Military Warriors Support Foundation. “So, it’s just a really cool thing to be able to thank our brethren when we’ve served together and we continue to serve with each other.”
This is one of nearly 1,000 homes provided to veterans by the foundation. Bank of America has donated more than 2,400 homes nationwide to veterans.
“It’s special every time,” said Charles Craft, vice president and market supervision manager Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. “It’s something that really pulls at your heart strings. It’s not a gift to the veterans. It’s a small token of our appreciation for the huge sacrifice that they’ve given.”
The transition from military life to civilian life can be difficult.
“You have such a support system in the military for you for basically everything you can think of,” Michael said. “Getting out and not having that system, especially going back home, its thousands of miles away from the military. It was a struggle.”
But through the foundation, the Diehn family will get an additional three years of family and financial mentorship.
The family was living in Minnesota, but when the house became available in Mississippi, they made the move south. They say the Coast is like a warm blanket welcoming them in from the cold.
If you’d like to learn more about the Homes4WoundedHeros program, visit https://militarywarriors.org/programs/
The organization is accepting donations from anyone able to support the program, and applications from wounded veteran and Gold Star families who qualify. They also have programs that gift vehicles and leadership development training to veterans.
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