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Military Warrior Support Foundation Donates Home In Hurst

HURST (CBSDFW.COM) - Staff Sergeant Erica Denmark picked up the keys today, to her family's new home in Hurst.

She and her husband, Sergeant Barron Denmark, are first time homeowners and will move in this weekend.

"It feels great. My family has a home we can call our own. No more renting. This is it," said SSG Erica Denmark.

The home is donated through the Military Warrior Support Foundation, in partnership with Wells Fargo and Keller Williams.

The Military Warrior Support Foundation matches wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with bank-owned homes on the market.

"We work a lot with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and amputees," said Christine Ballentine, of the Military Warrior Support Foundation.

SSG Erica Denmark joined the U.S. Army in 2001. In 2007, two months into her first tour of duty to Iraq, SSG Denmark was seriously injured in a mortar attack.

She lost her left leg below the knee, and returned home to spend a year in therapy.

"I only did one tour. One and one only. Out of my twelve month tour, I only did two months. I got there in August and got injured in October," SSG Denmark said.

She met her husband, also an Army veteran, at Fort Hood in Killeen a few years later.

The Denmarks have three children, Jurnee, Barron and Briley, and were previously renting an apartment as both parents attend college.

Looking for programs to help veterans become homeowners, Erica found the Military Warrior Support Foundation online, and applied last fall.

Just after the holidays, she learned she'd been approved.

"It exceeds my expectations. A lot," SSG Denmark said.

The family will become owners of a 2400 sq. ft., four bedroom, two and a half bathroom home.

Wells Fargo will pay the mortgage for three years and offer the Denmarks financial counseling. The family pays taxes and upkeep. After three years, the home is donated, and the family receives the deed, free and clear.

Gary Pfleiger, Vice President of Specialty Markets for Wells Fargo, is a U.S. Air Force veteran and greeted the Denmarks as they picked up the keys.

"The veteran life while you're [deployed] is very close and dedicated to the cause. When they come home it can be a big letdown. So if corporations make the effort to keep in touch, help them through resumes, financial training – there's just a lot of benefits they can provide with little effort and tremendous impact," said Pfleiger.

Keller Williams Reality also helped facilitate the home. The property was a foreclosure, and needed new paint, appliances, carpet and minor repairs, which were taken care of before the family got the keys on Thursday.

The Denmarks are excited to continue building their lives and raising their family in the comfort of their own home.

Click here for more information about The Military Warrior Support Foundation.

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"I didn't really believe that there were organizations that helped as much as they did. But they're out there, and I'll be spreading the word," said SSG Denmark.

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