Veteran couple receives mortgage free home
By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector
Friday, February 23, 2018
WASHINGTON, N.C. — Sgt. Ronald Seaver was an aircraft firefighter who planned on being in the Marine Corps until he retired.
Unfortunately, health issues forced him to leave the Corps sooner than he had planned.
His wife, Cpl. Laura Seaver, who worked as an ammunition specialist and a range coach on Parris Island, was pregnant when he had a pulmonary embolism that prematurely ended his career.
Suddenly, the family found itself in financial turmoil.
“We were a paycheck-to-paycheck family like everybody else,” Laura Seaver said. When one paycheck disappeared, it was tough to make ends meet, she said.
“We moved in with my sister and we stayed there for about a year, then we moved to my brother-in-law's house,” Laura Seaver said. “We kind of relied on our family — leaned on them a lot harder than most people would want to.
“I've had to swallow my pride a lot just to be able to give our kids a place to sleep,” she said.
‘A huge moment’
On Tuesday morning, all that changed.
The dual military family was awarded a brand new home, located off of Cherry Run Road and Northgate Drive in Washington, N.C. The home was donated by JPMorgan Chase Bank through a partnership with Operation Homefront.
An American flag on the porch greeted them as they smiled and grasped a giant blue cardboard key. No sooner than the burgundy front door opened, their three children were sprinting up and down the stairs of the two-story brick home while their parents went room to room, holding back tears as they took it all in.
“I didn't think anything like this would ever happen to us. It's a huge moment for our family,” Ronald Seaver said.
Laura Seaver said she was overjoyed that her family has a home that belongs to them.
“I just wanted something that was ours, that we could paint or just have space for our kids to have,” she said. “This morning I was nervous but I'm relieved to be able to finally see the house. It's everything — times a million — I thought it would be.”
With no mortgage to worry about, Laura and Ronald can focus on continuing their educations.
Laura Seaver will graduate soon from Pitt Community College with an associate's degree in human resources management. She plans to complete her bachelor's of business administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She said she wants to get a job working at a hospital.
Ronald Seaver also plans to return to school at some point. In the meantime, he plans to be a stay-at-home dad and take care of the couple's three children while his wife earns her degrees.
The Seaver family is just one of the many military families helped by Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization based out of San Antonio, Texas.
“Our mission at Operation Homefront is to build strong and stable military families so they can thrive and not just survive in their communities,” said Candice Jules, housing caseworker for Operation Homefront.
The mortgage-free homes are part of Operation Homefront’s program called Homes on the Homefront. Corporations donate the homes and veteran families submit an application.
“Homes are donated through corporate partners. We upload the homes to our website and all of the veterans who have a profile are sent an email of the available homes and they apply through the website. They are screened for things like their support system, what connections they have to the community and selected by a committee,” Jules said.
Jason Moody, housing programs communications manager said that Operation Homefront provides homes to veteran families across the nation.
“By alleviating the burden of a mortgage, a family who may not have been able to afford to send their children to college are now able to save money for their children’s college fund or he/she can attend school themselves, or expand their family,” Moody said. “We thank our donors for their partnership and supporting our mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families.”
A representative from JPMorgan said the bank was glad to help.
“We appreciate the opportunity for this special occasion,” Jeff Moncrief, vice president of commercial banking said. “We're thankful to our partners at Operation Homefront, and as a firm we're committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live.
“That commitment especially comes true when we think about those who have served to defend our country,” Moncrief said.
Now that their dream of home ownership has come to fruition, the Seavers can breathe easier.
“It's just a relief. This is just independence for us as a married couple,” Laura Seaver said. “It's a place where our kids can stay and not have to move. It's like a breath of fresh air.
“I'm super happy,” she said. “It's amazing and such a good feeling. I've always wanted my kids to have everything. I know that we're going to make amazing memories here.”
More information on this program can be found by visiting www.homesonthehomefront.org
Contact Tyler Stocks at Tstocks@reflector.com and 252-329-9566