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Gold Star family receives new home

Source: Christina Leavenworth

The family of a fallen American hero in Navarre has a new place to call home. It's a milestone for the non-profit "Building Homes for Heroes". It's the first time in the organization's history that a Gold Star family has received this gift.

There are cheers as Natasha De Alencar walked into her beautiful new home for the first time.

She was overwhelmed, she said, "I think this is amazing, beautiful. Oh my goodness."

Her five children quickly ran to pick out their bedrooms. The boys quickly went into the yard to play and the ladies were blown away by the master bath suite.

The moment is emotional for Natasha because owning a home was a dream she shared with her late husband Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar. The Green Beret was killed in action in April 2017.

She said, "Bittersweet . We are getting a first new home, but my hero is not here with me."

The organization "Building Homes for Heroes" teamed up with Chase Bank, Advance Auto Parts and many other groups to make this happen. The group usually gives homes to wounded veterans and their families. This is the very first home donation to a Gold Star family.

Natasha said she's blown away by the support. "Amazing people I'm telling you...Blessed to have them. "

The home is worth around $300,000. It was bank owned and donated by Chase Bank. The organization renovated it based on the family's taste, even getting the colors in the rooms just right.

The family can't wait to fill the bare walls with photos of De Alencar and create moments that will allow the memory of him to live on.

The grandma, Yolanda Thornton, said with tears in her eyes, "I'm looking at a backyard for my grandchildren that they never had before. Their father wished this for them, their mother wanted it for them."

Natasha said, "He won't be here for this journey. But I see him through our children, I see him through our memories."

"Building Homes for Heroes" either builds or renovates around 30 homes a year for wounded veterans and their families. They are now expanding that program to Gold Star Families.

There website is www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.

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