On Thursday, Feb. 26, construction crews broke ground on a property in a subdivision of San Angelo, TX. Unlike other building projects in the area, however, two organizations are collaborating to help support an important cause: creating a custom home for a decorated veteran and his family.
Staff Seargent Chris Campbell joined the United States Air Force in September 1994, becoming a crew chief on a F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Eventually, he also cross-trained into security forces to get closer to the action. During the course of his military career, Campbell completed several tours of duty in West Virginia following the September 11 terrorist attacks before being deployed to Balad Air Force Base in Iraq in 2004. While stationed in Iraq, he was injured during a rocket attack on the base on June 11, 2005. The blast left Campbell with a traumatic brain injury, and he now lives with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), frequent migraines, insomnia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and hearing loss. Because of these medical problems, he retired from the military in 2012 with several awards, including a Purple Heart, USAF Meritorious Unit Award Ribbon, and a National Defense Service Medal.
Following his retirement, Campbell, his wife, and their two sons decided to move to San Angelo, where Campbell had previously worked for the federal civil service at Goodfellow Air Force Base. The choice was a natural one: the family reportedly loves the area’s warm climate and friendly community, and the city features several great schools and leading medical facilities that will be able to aid Campbell’s recovery. Now, thanks to the nonprofit organization Operation FINALLY HOME, the family will be able to enjoy these benefits from the comfort of a custom-built home.
Operation FINALLY HOME is a national non-profit organization that partners with home builders and corporate sponsors to create custom, mortgage-free homes for wounded, ill, or injured veterans and surviving families of fallen soldiers. While the foundation was established in 2005, the Campbell family’s home is only the second project they have undertaken in San Angelo. To build the home, Operation FINALLY HOME is working with the Home Builders Association of San Angelo (HBASA), a non-profit professional trade organization of builders and their associates.
Building custom homes for the injured veterans and their families was a smart decision for both organizations: the primary advantage of these projects is that they can be built to individual specifications. This allows them to be customized to fit the medical and practical needs of the recipients. For example, the Campbell boys are reportedly excited about the prospect of having their own bedrooms in the new house.
The Campbell family’s new house is being built on Barrington Court in The Bluffs subdivision. According to Operation FINALLY HOME’s Project Manager, Ronnie Lyles, this house is only one of 38 such projects in the Western U.S. In San Angelo, the construction company AB Builders is completing the general contracting work.