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Local veteran gets surprised with new home

Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 20:42:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — There was a pretty special groundbreaking ceremony Friday afternoon for one local army veteran.

It was the surprise of a lifetime because home is being built for Julio Martinez and his family, free of charge, on the city's south side.

Martinez described the day as emotional.

"I started crying," said Martinez. "I think we all started crying inside of the car."

The family of five thought they were going through the interview process with Operation Finally Home, an organization dedicated to providing homes to veterans.

But the family was in for a special treat when they pulled up to the site where their new home will soon be built.

"It was a surprise," said Martinez. "We were not believing what our eyes were seeing."

Martinez joined the army in 2012, but the sergeant was injured in 2017 when a vehicle he was driving crashed. The accident left him wheelchair-bound. He said when his home is completed, he can focus on his recovery.

"In this part of my life, it's just like taking care of myself and being thankful." said Martinez.

But it was those in attendance who were also thankful for Martinez who served our country.

"For what Sergeant Martinez has done for our country, we wanted to be the first to get to honor him," said Bart Braselton, the executive vice president of Braselton Homes.

The home is being built thanks to organizations such as Braselton Homes, H-E-B, The Christian Broadcasting Network and Operation Finally Home.

Their home is expected to be finished by April 2020.