Groundbreaking on Vet's mortgage-free home

Groundbreaking on Vet's mortgage-free home

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Just days after a Lawton veteran and his family were surprised with plans for their very own mortgage-free home, they are one step closer to seeing their dream become a reality.

Today's ceremony was the start of a new beginning for former Fort Sill soldier Tomas Garcia and his family. He was overcome with emotion as crews began the ground work on what will soon become their new home.

"First of all, I'd like to thank Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior," Garcia said.

Garcia says when he and his family applied for the home back in January, they never expected this kind of support. The family was given the royal treatment today as relatives, friends and even fellow veterans gathered to watch crews begin the ground work on their new home.

While it's going to take a village to get everything done on time, homebuilder Colin Hawkins says the project is something he's proud to be a part of.

"It's giving back to the community. Lawton has been very good to me. My dad was military and he was a purple heart recipient also. Bronze star in WWII. It's just a great thing to give back to the Lawton-Fort Sill community," said Colin Hawkins, the owner of Hawkins Custom Homes.

Hawkins says crews will begin the dirt work today and work as quickly as possible to get the home up and the family moved in.

Project Manager Ronnie Lyles says it's the least they can for a family who has given so much.

"As you can see from the events today, this never gets old. This is such an honor for us to be able to give back to our wounded heroes. We owe them so much more, but the fact that we can give them a house to call a home, and they're going to have a roof over their head for the rest of their lives. It means the world to give back," said Ronnie Lyles, project manager for Operation Finally Home.

Lyles has worked with Operation Finally Home for several years and says this will be the second home they've built in Oklahoma. He expects the family to be moved in by Christmas if everything goes according to plan.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.