FORT MYERS, Fla. – U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby, his wife, Yoland, and their children received the surprise of a lifetime: As part of PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program, in partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME, they will be the latest recipients of a brand new mortgage-free home in the Babcock Ranch community in Charlotte County.
The Appleby family believed they were going through the preliminary interview process with PulteGroup and Operation FINALLY HOME. When the family arrived at what was thought to be their interview, they were directed to an alternate meeting site where they were intercepted by the Patriot Guard riders and escorted to the site of their new home. Community dignitaries and representatives from both organizations were in attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony.
“The Babcock Ranch community is an excellent place to call home,” said Richard McCormick, president of PulteGroup’s Southwest Florida Division. “We’re thrilled to partner with Operation FINALLY HOME along with Kitson & Partners, and Babcock Ranch to thank such a deserving veteran and his family for their service.”
After multiple deployments to the Middle East, Appleby experienced multiple encounters with IEDs, resulting in cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury, PTSD, myofascial pain syndrome and migraines. For his service, Appleby received several awards including three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Badge, and many more.
“Howard is a true American hero, and we are humbled and honored to give back to a family who has sacrificed so much for our country,” said Rusty Carroll, Operation FINALLY HOME Executive Director.
The Appleby’s new home will be complete this summer. The family will be moving into Pulte’s popular Summerwood floor plan. The home will easily accommodate the family of six with four bedrooms, two baths and more than 2,100 square feet. The home design features flexible living spaces, a professional-style kitchen, and open gathering and dining areas for entertaining ease. An integrated outdoor living area extends the living space to fully enjoy Babcock Ranch’s stunning natural preserves.
U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby
U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby of Cape Coral, Fla., joined the military in 2004 as a combat engineer initially stationed in Ft. Irwin, California.
One month after basic training, Howard deployed to Afghanistan, and was responsible for conducting route reconnaissance, clearance and security operations during the height of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat. He experienced his first IED blast in August of 2004, which struck his vehicle during a mission. Howard sustained a back injury and returned to Fort Irwin, Calif., where he furthered his combat training. In 2007, he was redeployed to Afghanistan and continued route-clearance missions. During this deployment, he encountered several IED blasts, the worst striking his vehicle. Appleby was transferred to a Warrior Transition Unit, where he completed lengthy medical treatment and counseling.
After multiple encounters with IEDs, Howard was diagnosed with cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury, PTSD, myofascial pain syndrome and migraines. For his service, Appleby received several awards including three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Badge, and many more.
Howard was honorably discharged in 2011 and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with his family. In April of 2017, he married his love Yoland, a former police officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Narcotics Division. Together, they live by the motto “life is not a race – but indeed a journey.”
About Built to Honor
PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program was launched in 2013 to recognize and thank returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to select veteran candidates across the country. In the last 5 years, Built to Honor has delivered homes to 50 veterans and their families as they transition out of the military and into a new phase of their lives. As a top homebuilder, providing a home is the best way for PulteGroup to give back to the nation’s service members. Follow Built to Honor @BuiltToHonor or Facebook.com/BuiltToHonor.
About PulteGroup, Inc.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in approximately 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup conducts extensive research to provide homebuyers with innovative solutions and consumer inspired homes and communities to make lives better.
For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup brands, go to pultegroup.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com; www.divosta.com and www.jwhomes.com. Follow PulteGroup, Inc. on Twitter: @PulteGroupNews.
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