Dream Come True: Military Veteran Honored With House

by Amy Myers

National Guard veteran Ebony Dobson became a homeowner thanks to the generosity of local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, HabiJax. Dobson and her 10-year-old son, Windell, were pleasantly surprised to hear news of their new CSX-sponsored home in Jacksonville, Florida. Now, the single mother and her son have two floors to themselves, plus a spacious kitchen and a huge backyard, equipped for cooking, entertaining and playing.

The military veteran mom was most excited about her gorgeous bedroom.

“This is so perfect,” Dobson told News4Jax. “I don’t have to hear too much gaming up here.”

While the amenities were wonderful additions to their lives, Dobson’s priority for her son was stability.

“Today means stability for me and my son,” Dobson said. “Of course, a beautiful yard to play in and to make many memories with my family.”

Of course, Windell was equally excited about his new home. Now, he’ll be able to have plenty of playdates and adventures in the comfort of his own home.

“It means joy and happiness, and it also means that I can have get a lot of friends over here and make new friends,” Windell said.

The home for the military veteran and her son has taken a year to construct. According to Monte Walker, CEO of HabiJax, the team put in over 200 hours on the home – and every minute was worth the result.

“Just seeing the smiles and the reaction of the family is just worth its weight in gold and this was a good example of it,” Walker said.

Homeless Military Veteran Rings in New Year with New Home

Last week, on New Year’s Day, fellow military veteran, Terry Ashenbrenner, received a home of his own after losing his previous residence to a fire. Since November 23, the Vietnam vet has bounced around between different hotels in Dewey, Wisconsin. Thankfully, with the help of his former neighbor, Richard Peterson, the vet was able to find a home just in time for the new year.

“When I first found out about it, I started looking for houses,” Peterson shared. “I told them [members of Veteran’s Weekly Cup of Coffee at Denny’s] about Terry’s situation and so I called Terry and told him to get over there right away.”

The thoughtful neighbor continued, “It’s an uplifting time, especially during the holidays, to have him in a house instead of in a hotel, it means a lot to me. I feel for people and God’s blessed me and I like to help out other people.”

As for the military veteran, he’s happily settled into his new home. The next item on his to-do list is to start writing thank-you notes to those that helped him.

“This is a good new year for me…things are looking up. I’m not used to so much room,” Ashenbrenner told reporters. “There are so many people I need to thank here.”