Operation Finally Home Groundbreaking is FridayFeatured Stories, News Monday, February 11th, 2013
A nationwide program to thank wounded veterans for their service makes its debut in the twin cities later this week.
Homebuilder Randall Pitcock is among those involved in Operation Finally Home. It’s a partnership with developers, builders and donors providing mortgage-free custom homes to wounded veterans and the widows of fallen soldiers.
Friday morning marks groundbreaking for the first local home. Participants include the King Oaks development, where the home will be built, along with Pitcock & Croix Custom Homes, Weber Custom Homes and builder Quinn Williams.
To complete the home in King Oaks, organizers are recruiting volunteers, monetary donations and donated materials and supplies.
While serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan on July 4, 2012, Sgt. Monte Bernardo and his platoon came under fire from two sides, forcing them to take cover on a berm. Sgt. Bernardo ordered his team to return fire then placed himself between them to direct their fire. The spot he chose was on top of an IED, which imploded.
Sgt. Bernardo, age 30, was critically injured by the IED blast, resulting in the loss of three limbs, including both legs, which were amputate above the knees, and his left hand. He is currently undergoing treatment and working toward recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sgt. Bernardo joined the Army in September 2006 at the age of 24 entering basic training as an artilleryman. During his tenure in the military, he has worked extremely hard to become a model Non Commissioned Officer, soldier and paratrooper, resulting in numerous awards, Jumpmaster and Air Assault skill badges as well as a Purple Heart.
Sgt. Bernardo has an 11-year-old daughter, Felicity, and hopes to study aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University. His brother, Frank Bernardo, is a 2004 graduate of Texas A&M.
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