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Monday, October 29, 2012 - 23:51
EL PASO — It was a special day for a local hero and his family. For the first time, Alfredo Gutierrez, Jr. and his family walked into their new home.
Gutierrez, 33, was seriously injured in Iraq and his dream to move into a new home was put on hold. On Monday, his dream came true.
"I'm very happy. For a couple days, I was in shock. I was really quiet. Even my wife would tell me 'Why you quiet?' I'm just in shock," said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez was a retired Texas Army National Guard Gunner.
He received the keys to his new home surrounded by family, friends and fellow soldiers. He, his wife and two young children then took a tour.
"We're still in shock. We can't believe that this is happening to us. It's been a long journey, very tough times for us.. but excited," said wife Christina Gutierrez.
This home is more than just a home, it's a place where the Gutierrez family can continue to recover.
Gutierrez was riding in a convoy escort mission in Iraq in 2009 when it was hit by a roadside bomb.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury that changed his life forever.
"It affected it a whole lot. I wasn't the same. It affected my abilities to help out others like I said I used to be a deputy and I had to resign my commission and things that I like doing we're cut short," said Gutierrez.
"It's something we go through everyday. He forgets stuff. We have to annotate everything for him... in his classes, his appointments. It's life changing for everybody," said Christina Gutierrez.
Gutierrez is now a homeowner, all thanks to Military Warriors Support Foundation and Bank of America which came up with the money to pay for it.
"He gave everything. He gave everything and for us to be able to do this is the least we could do in return," said Terri Garcia with Bank of America.
"One of the most important things is that they are connected to the community and Freddie and his wife Christina being from El Paso originally, plus their support system here in El Paso, it's the perfect match," said Ken Eakes with Military Warriors Support Foundation.
Gutierrez received the purple heart for his injuries.
He is currently taking classes at a local community college to be a medical information technician so he can help other soldiers.
The Military Warriors Support Foundation helps many wounded military members move into new homes.
If you or someone you know would like to apply, visit www.militarywarriors.org.