A wounded veteran and his family were surprised June 25 with the announcement that they will soon be the recipients of a new mortgage-free home from the Pulte Group in Tomball community Wimbledon Falls. A crowd of local contractors, neighbors and others cheered and waved flags as Pulte and H-E-B employees shared the good news with Staff Sgt. Travis Palmer, his wife and four children.
“This day has been in my dreams and in my hopes,” Palmer said, as he and his family were stunned with the news of the home donation. Palmer thought he was only visiting Wimbledon Falls to find out more about the home donation program. “My words cannot say how much this means to me. I just started crying.”
Pulte Homes, H-E-B and dozens of local contractors, vendors and housing partners are donating the labor and materials for the new 2,900-square-foot five bedroom, three bath home. The veteran applied for the home donation with Operation FINALLY HOME, an organization that helps veterans and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs – a home to call their own. The new home will be completed and donated to the Palmer family in October.
“We are incredibly grateful for the sacrifices Staff Sgt. Palmer and so many others have made for our freedom. It is truly our honor to be part of building the American dream for such a deserving family,” said Lindy Oliva, PulteGroup’s Houston Division Presi-dent. “With the help of our generous trade partners, we can help ease the struggles of our wounded veterans and their families as they rebuild their lives here at home.”
H-E-B Operation Appreciation, a companywide campaign created to honor the brave men and women of the armed forces through the contribution of time, talent and financial support, plans to donate eight homes in Texas this year.
“Every day at H-E-B we work alongside (employees) who currently serve or who are veterans. It is important to us to honor our service members here at home, with a home to call their own and the opportunity to get their lives back on track,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. ”It is a true joy to build this home for this family. We cannot wait to hand them the keys.”
Staff Sgt. Travis Palmer joined the U.S. Army in 1992 and quickly proved himself, being promoted to Corporal after only 20 months of service. He received a myriad of commendations including two Purple Hearts, a Meritorious Service Medal, six Army Commendation Medals, an Army Commendation Medal with Valor, and 11 Army Achievement Medals. He survived two concussions and shrapnel wounds and continues to battle other injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder and degenerative joint disease in his spine, shoulders and knee.
He and his wife, Toniek, and four children, are moving to Houston where he plans to attend Universal Technical Institute and be close to extended family.