ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) – It has been a long recovery for Cpl. Ray Lopez, but today he saw a whole community gather around him.
Lopez and her family officially received their new home in Odessa today, made possible by Operation Finally Home (OFH).
“It’s our honor,” said Ronnie Lyles, OFH Project Manager. “It’s the least we can do for these men and women in uniform who were ready to give their lives. It is something that we as a country must do. »
Lopez was injured in Iraq and still suffers from mental and physical trauma.
But that day, he was all smiles.
“He looks so much bigger,” Lopez said.
Local businesses also participated. HEB provided an entire pantry’s worth. A refrigerator and a washer/dryer combo are also already installed. But the biggest gift – the house – came from the Silver Leaf houses.
“Seeing them come in and have big smiles on their faces made this day really special and just confirmed our involvement in what it’s just a blessing to be involved,” said Drew Wegman, owner of Silver Leaf Homes.
More people showed up than home builders and family. Representatives of Odessa City, Odessa Police Department and Odessa Fire Department were all present.
It’s a support system that reinforces Lopez’s love for West Texas.
“It means there are a lot of good hearts and a lot of good souls out there,” Lopez said. “And that’s what this community shows consistently since we’ve been doing this is that they show up regardless of job, shift, struggle, struggle, long hours. It’s amazing what they do day after day.
Now the hard part begins: deciding who gets which room.
“Yeah,” laughed Lopez. “It’s still under construction.”
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