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L.I. Navy Vet, Family Honored With House Built By Other Veterans

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- On the eve of Veterans Day, there was a very happy scene in Hicksville, Long Island.

As CBS2's Maurice DuBois reported, a deserving serviceman and his family were handed the keys to their new home Monday. It is a subsidized house, built over the last five months by other veterans working in their spare time.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano led cheers in Hicksville for the Wasi family, along with dozens of veterans who helped build their home on donated county land.

L.I. Navy Vet, Family Honored With House Built By Other Veterans

"The American dream come, you know – I mean, we come here, working hard, and you know, we have a place to call home now," said Shafqat Wasi.

Wasi is a U.S. Navy veteran who works on Long Island. But for the past several years, he and his wife and young daughter have had to live with his parents in Queens as they struggled to save enough to buy a home.

"My commute was really killing me," Shafquat said. "So being right close to work – because I'm, like, 10 minutes from here.

The Wasis' 2-year-old daughter, Alina, marveled at the shiny new appliances in the house – all donated by local merchants and installed by local contractors.

"The kitchen, the tiles, the stairs, the paint material, the windows, the siding – everything that you typically do in your own house, we've done here," said Michael Gedacht of MJG Contracting.

Now, energetic Alina will have lots of room to play, as well as her own bedroom. Her mother, Ambreen Wasi, was already thinking about how to furnish it.

"I started shopping around too," she said. "But I'm just waiting for a Thanksgiving sale."

The Wasis were chosen through a lottery by a local veterans' organization. They will still have a mortgage to cover the $250,000 cost of constructing the home, but that is still 40 percent less than neighboring properties.

"I was not expecting this to come out this beautiful, and I can't wait to move in," said Ambreen Wasi.

The Wasis called the home a great blessing, and they expect to move in by Thanksgiving.

The home was built by local veterans in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, a Patchogue native killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Lt. Murphy received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroism.

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