Local Veteran Given New, Mortgage-Free Home

The Military Warrior Foundation Partners With Banks To Find Homes For Veterans

It almost sounds too good to be true, but for Jamal Boubetana, a wounded Army sergeant, his dream of owning a home has become a reality.

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"This is overwhelming, it's hard to believe," he said.

In February 2007, Boubetana was deployed as a linguist with the Army near Tikrit, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated by his Humvee.

"It threw me out of the vehicle, I landed on my head and my left arm, my knees; it was a tough time," he said.

During Boubetana's recovery, someone with the Purple Heart Association told him about a program called The Military Warrior Foundation, which seeks out partnerships with banks to find distressed homes.

"We get a list from the banks all over the U.S. and then we determine if it will be a good fit for the veteran and his family," said Bill DeRidder, who is with the foundation.

If the veteran completes a three-year mentoring program about finances and home upkeep, they get the home mortgage-free.

"I've lived in an apartment; I've never had a home. This is a great opportunity and I am so touched in my heart," Boubetana said.

Boubetana's wife and 15-month-old daughter are visiting family in their native Morocco and have only seen pictures of the home. They're due to return home sometime next month.

This is the 250th home given to wounded warriors through the foundation throughout the country, but only the second in San Diego.

Find out how you can qualify for the mortgage free homes program by going to militarywarriors.org.

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