SPRING, Texas (FOX 26) - On Tuesday, dozens welcomed U.S. Army Sergeant Josh Hamilton to his new home in Spring, Texas. Thanks to a national non-profit and sponsors, the home is mortgage free.
In 2007, Hamilton was serving in Baghdad when a bus carrying bombs exploded.
"I got caught in the blast. I fractured pretty much my entire spine," he said. Since June 2012, I have had 18 back surgeries."
Hamilton also had brain injuries and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. About six months ago, he learned about Building Homes for Heroes and applied.
"It’s been three years trying to find the perfect veteran for this home and when Josh said he wanted to move back to Texas, we knew it was a perfect fit," said Christie Christian, the Texas Director for the organization.
Hamilton is a Floridian by birth, but after being stationed in Fort Hood, he knew he was a Texan at heart.
"I always knew that I wanted to get back to Texas," he told FOX 26. "That’s where I felt at ease and at peace."
Since 2011, the organization has given more than a thousand mortgage-free homes to military veterans.
With the help of sponsors, Hamilton's home was remodeled to fit Hamilton’s needs including a custom shower. The work was done by fellow veterans.
"I was told what he needed," said Kevin Bower, General Contractor of Veteran Builders, LLC based in Spring. "We opened everything up as much as we could so he had as much mobility inside the shower. We combined the closet and an old bathroom and made one big shower."
Army veteran Michael Villagran was also there to welcome Hamilton home.
"I stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. I went through four years of limb salvage," he explained. Eventually, he had the part of his leg amputated.
Villagran and his girls moved into mortgage-free home thanks to Building Homes for Heroes in Copperfield earlier this year.
"I do this because they volunteered for me and the least I can do is volunteer for them,"added Christian.
"Y’all were worth what I went through and, if given the opportunity, I’d sign right back up and be doing it again tomorrow," Hamilton concluded.