Local veteran gets mortgage-free housePublished 5:58pm Friday, June 27, 2014
By Nick Sellers | Staff Reporter
The lot had been bought, the plans for the house had been drawn up, the tent had been assembled and the volunteers were already there.
The only person who didn’t know Marine Corps Cpl. Brandon Johnson was getting an entirely new home furnished by Operation Finally Home in partnership with Jeff Benton Homes was, well, Johnson himself.
When the car he was riding in bounded the corner onto Autumn Cove Drive in south Madison and the entire scene came into view, the news was out and the emotions took over for the wounded veteran who suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury incurred when an IED exploded near his Humvee in Iraq years ago.
“Daddy’s crying with happy years,” Johnson’s nine-year-old daughter, Amy, said after the family made their way to the staging area.
Construction on the house will begin sometime in the next two weeks, and the expected move-in date is Veteran’s Day, appropriately.
“This never gets old,” said Rusty Carroll, Operation Finally HomeExecutive Director. “It always amazes me how good people are drawn to do good work.”
The organization Carroll directs was established in 2005 to provide mortgage-free houses to wounded veterans and widows of veterans. The group has provided around 60 homes since its inception, yet Johnson’s is the first in the state.
“We don’t always hear about the good news of those who serve, but this is one of them,” Carroll said.
Johnson will occupy the house with his wife, Tiffany, and three children.
“I felt so overwhelmed for my family, for myself as well, but I mainly have been wanting to be able to provide a house for them,” Johnson said. “A house that’s ours.”
The house, located in the Legacy Cove subdivision, has a backyard that backs up into Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and will soon contain a playground for his children.
“I would never in my wildest dreams think that this would happen,” he said.