Local News

Injured Army vet receives keys to newly renovated Durham home

Posted September 24, 2014 2:10 p.m. EDT

— A Purple Heart recipient and Army veteran in Durham received the keys Wednesday to a newly renovated home, thanks to a nonprofit that helps those injured in combat transition into civilian life.

Ret. Spc. Mike Thomas, who enlisted in the Army in 2005, served two tours as an infantryman in Iraq before being shot during combat. He received the Purple Heart and was also awarded the Army and has also received three times the Army Commendation Medal for acts of heroism and meritorious service .

"It's very overwhelming and exciting. It's unreal," Thomas said Wednesday of his home. "Everything that's happening and all the people here – the support I'm getting – I can't show enough appreciation for everyone who has supported me."

Thomas plans to finish school and find a job in the community. His parents are both retired from teaching, and he would like to become a high school soccer coach.

The mortgage-free house was possible because of the Military Warriors Support Foundation, which works with banks to provide homes for soldiers.

Bank of America paid for Thomas's house – one of more than 1,000 it has donated nationwide to veterans.