Veteran gets a new place to call home

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Friday, May 23, 2014

THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW) -- Michael McKinney smiled from ear to ear as he walked in to his new home for the first time.

"All smiles. I smile a lot anyways. I can't believe they did all this for me. This is my home. I was at a loss for words really," Michael McKinney said.

McKinney spent 4 years in the army, and was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2011. He says he joined the army so his sick mother could have health care.

Now, thanks to Bank of America and Operation Homefront, McKinney , his mother, and brother are living the American dream, and have somewhere to call home.

"You don't see too many people where I come from in my neighborhood that can say I have a home," McKinney said.

Bank of America and operation home front teamed up, and matched McKinney with a mortgage free home.

"This is nice like even if it was this size. It's mine I can say that," McKinney said.

Bank of America has put keys into a thousand veterans hands. Once they walk through their new doors Operation Homefront works with them to make sure they're a responsible homeowner.

"They want to make sure you start a good savings, and actually have a plan for the future how to take care of things when something goes wrong in the home," McKinney said.

McKinney still has to go through a year of financial counseling and home inspections before he can get the deed.

"We also want to provide the financial support, the skill building, the training that's necessary in order to carry that dream forward for years to come," said Ora Parish, Market President at Bank of America.

McKinney checks out his new home, but his favorite room is the kitchen. He said his next step is culinary school, but for now he's grateful to be settling into a place of his own.

"As a veteran you served your country, and now you have someone helping you. It's not too often you have someone saying thanks, and this is one of the biggest thanks you could ever get," McKinney said.

If you're interested in one of these homes you can apply on Operation Homefront's website.

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