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Nonprofit Gifts Home to Retired Marine in Albuquerque

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Community Development

Nonprofit Gifts Home to Retired Marine in Albuquerque

Building Homes for Heroes donates home to retired Marine who is a Purple Heart recipient and grandson of a Navajo Code Talker

December 8, 2023
Homes for Heroes donates home to retired Marine and his family in Albuquerque
Image: courtesy Homes for Heroes

In a ceremony on Dec. 6—the day before the 82nd anniversary of the Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor—national nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes gifted a mortgage-free home in Albuquerque, N.M., to retired Marine Sgt. Dustin Francisco, Live 5 WCSC reports. Francisco is a Purple Heart recipient and grandson of Joe Vandever Sr., a Marine who was one of the World War II Navajo Code Talkers.

Continuing a family legacy of service, Francisco, 39, joined the military in 2004 and was later deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011 in Afghanistan, his unit was struck by a grenade blast that resulted in Francisco suffering a traumatic brain injury and shrapnel wounds. He was discharged in 2013 and suffers from chronic PTSD and other medical conditions resulting from his injuries.

"We are honored to give back to Sgt. Dustin Francisco, a true American hero. His sacrifice and dedication deserve our deepest gratitude, and this home is a small token of our immense appreciation for Dustin and a tribute to the Navajo Code Talkers," said Andy Pujol, founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes.

Bedecked in a holiday theme, the 1,890-square-foot home, donated by JPMorgan Chase to Building Homes for Heroes, was gifted to Francisco, his partner, Kimberlyn Tom, and four children. The home gifting also was supported financially by the organization's top corporate sponsors, Advance Auto Parts and Lowe's.

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