After a long trek from Ohio, retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jimmy King settled into a new home in Cy-Fair with his family, not only giving them a fresh place to stay with brand new furniture but also giving them a stress-free in-between while they wait for their new home in North Carolina to be built.
Helping A Hero, a nonprofit organization that provides homes and other resources to military veterans, welcomed the King family to their new home with open arms on Oct. 7. The three-bedroom apartment at Camden Cypress Creek came with a garage, new rooms for the children and storage space. The home was furnished with new appliances, recliner couches and beds for each child.
“This means the world to me,” King said. “This is an amazing place, and I can’t say thank you enough.”
Rooms To Go provided the furniture while Camden Cypress Creek donated the first-floor apartment itself, which was essential due to King walking with mobility aids after the loss of his leg.
King was serving in Iraq in 2004 when his unit hit a roadside bomb. He sustained major injuries, including the loss of his leg, and was in a coma for several weeks. King hasn’t let the loss of his leg keep him from physical activity and has taken part in several marathons since his injury.
During his recovery at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, King met his wife, Beth, who was a volunteer at the hospital. The two celebrated their wedding anniversary last month.
The Kings moved from Ohio to Texas and are staying in the Camden home rent-free until their new specially adapted house in North Carolina has finished construction.
The house is being provided through Helping A Hero’s Wounded Hero Home Program. Typically, houses are awarded to veterans for a fraction of the cost of the home with help from fundraising and community partners who donate time and resources. The project is also part of the nonprofit’s 100 Homes Challenge in which Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris pledged to provide 25 percent of the funds needed for 100 homes and encourages others to donate as well.
King said he applied for Helping a Hero after hearing about other veterans being helped by the organization through his wife, who is also an advocate for veterans. After initially thinking he did not need the help, King eventually applied last Thanksgiving.
Less than a year later, the family moved into the Cypress apartment as their new house is being built in North Carolina. Construction of the house was delayed by COVID-19 based supply chain issues but is projected to be complete in July 2023.
“Camden is honored to support our veterans whenever we can,” Camden Cypress Creek said in a statement. “We’re delighted to partner with Helping a Hero to provide Sgt. Jimmy King and his family have an apartment to live in while they await for their home to be built.”
Helping A Hero makes sure that each home they acquire for a veteran is equipped for accessibility, whether it be accommodating prosthetics or other mobility aids.
King said the new home in Cypress, specifically the furniture, helped make the hectic period less stressful overall. The location was chosen as the family’s interim home because there are several other Helping A Hero families living nearby.
Additionally, their apartment is in the vicinity of Elim Christian School, a school that serves students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other occupational challenges, where their children will be able to receive specialized attention for their 504 needs. The children have been admitted under the school’s scholarship program, and Helping A Hero continues raising funds to help cover the whole year.
“It is such an exciting thing to now have the King family being hosted so that their kids are going to be able to go to a 504 school, get all their paperwork in order so they can begin to succeed at school and be able to thrive and not just survive,” said Meredith Iler, chairman of Helping a Hero.
During the surprise celebration, each child, Hunter, 14; Mackenzie, 10; and Jaxon, 6, said they were grateful for the move into their new home. King said he can tell Jaxon likes his new sheets because he can name every dinosaur on them.
“I cannot say thank you enough,” Jaxon said. “May God be with you all forever.”
For more information on Helping a Hero, including how to contribute or apply, visit helpingahero.org.