Sgt. John  Jaramillo, his wife Dania, and two young children Jazmin and John, Jr. saw their new home for the first time last week.
Sgt. John Jaramillo, his wife Dania, and two young children Jazmin and John, Jr. saw their new home for the first time last week.

PulteGroup launched its Built to Honor program in 2013. Since that time, the Atlanta-based builder has provided mortgage-free homes to veterans across the country, and on July 8, Built to Honor gave away its 40th home to an Army veteran and his family in the Tampa, Fla area.

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. John Jaramillo served two enlistments in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 where he was injured by an IED. He retired in 2013 and received numerous commendations, including a Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, and two Army Commendation Medals. In December, Sgt. Jaramillo, his wife Dania, and two young children Jazmin and John, Jr., learned, in front of thousands of fans at the St. Petersburg Bowl Game, that they would receive a new mortgage-free home.

That was a big surprise to say the least, as Sgt. Jaramillo said prior to entering his new home for the first time last week. But another surprise came when he and his family walked in and saw the home was fully furnished.

For the first time, Built to Honor streamed the ceremony and surprise on its Facebook page live. Surrounded by news cameramen, the members of Jaramillo family had similar reactions when walking through their front door for the first time: “Oh my God!”

That fully-furnished, 2,830-square-foot home is designer-decorated, has two stories home and features five bedrooms, a game room, covered lanai, and two-car garage. It is located in the Bayridge Centex community in Ruskin, Fla.

“It’s been an amazing ride for me and my wife.” Sgt. Jaramillo said minutes before seeing the home, adding, “I cannot say thank you enough to all of you guys.”

Built to Honor broke on the project in February and worked with dozens of national and local trade partners and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports our nation's wounded heroes as they transition out of the military and into civilian life.

To date, Built to Honor has given homes to 40 veterans, along with their 70 children, across 15 states. Additionally, more than 13,000 employee hours have been volunteered and 15,000 Notes of Love blanket the wall studs of these homes, according to Pulte.

"As a home builder, providing a home is the best way for PulteGroup to help ease their struggles and give their families security, peace of mind, and a place to call home,” said Ryan Marshall, president of PulteGroup.

This was the fifth home Built to Honor has donated so far in 2016 with three more projects currently in progress.