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Soldier and family get mortgage-free home

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 17 2013 05:06:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 05:00:13 AM CDT

Getting the keys to your new house is an unforgettable moment.

BETHLEHEM, PA. -

Getting the keys to your new house is an unforgettable moment. Tuesday was certainly a day Dimitrus Alston and his family won't forget. They received the keys to their mortgage-free house in Bethlehem.

Alston is in the Air National Guard and applied for the house through a non-profit organization called Operation Homefront.

Operation Homefront works with military members and veterans and their families.

Through the organization's program called Homes on the Homefront, it partners with banks that donate foreclosed houses. Wells Fargo donated the foreclosed house Alston received.

"It's a beautiful house and to get it mortgage-free is unbelievable. It puts you 30 years ahead of schedule," said Alston.

It's an exciting upgrade from the family's two bedroom apartment.

"It's a huge relief, being deployed next year, not having to worry about that for my family, knowing they'll be taken care of," said Alston.

His wife Carmen, who is pregnant with a third baby, said, "It's a huge relief to not have to worry about extra space and stuff."

"I like the washer and the dryer," she added.

They're also excited about the hardwood floors, a finished basement, and their yard.

"It's really unbelievable. A lot of people won't believe it until they see actually see me with the key," said Alston.

Sarah Groom with Operation Homefront said, "There's no words that can really detail and express how amazing it is to be a part of this program."

"I get to see service members and veterans move into homes that they otherwise probably would never been able to have," Groom added.

There were also representatives from Wells Fargo at the ceremony at the house.

"This is fantastic. I love this. I wish there was more of this going on," said Joseph Thomas, a customer service and sales representative with Wells Fargo.

He is also a veteran. "I was just active duty in January. I just got out, so coming from there back into civilian life is real tough and having an organization that's going to do something like this for you is just fantastic."

You can learn more about Operation Homefront, including how to qualify for a house, on the organization's website. There is a currently a mortgage-free house available in Penn Forest, PA.