On Friday, November 4, U.S. Army SPC Fernando Del Pozo Jr. and his family received the keys to their newly completed, mortgage-free home in Jordan Ranch in Fulshear, Texas.
Operation Finally Home, along with Highland Homes, Houston Texans, USAA, Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA), and Johnson Development partnered to provide the custom-built home. Representatives of each organization were on-hand to welcome the Del Pozo family to their new home, along with contractors, suppliers, donors, new neighbors and other guests.
The Del Pozo family was be escorted to their new home by the Patriot Guard Riders and Lee Kirgan, vice president at Operation Finally Home, where guests, neighbors and officials welcomed them. A dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting followed.
U.S. Army SPC Fernando Del Pozo Jr. and his family were initially surprised with the news they would be receiving a mortgage-free, custom-built home in June. The Del Pozo family thought they were meeting Operation Finally Home for an interview as the next step in their application process, during which they were taken on a tour of the Jordan Ranch subdivision. The Del Pozo family was surprised when they arrived at the homesite and were met by the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, TORO and Houston Texans Legend Moran Norris along with Highland Homes executives who broke the news that they have already been selected to receive a new, mortgage-free home!
On August 5, guests left inspiring notes on the studs of the home during a Notes of Love event for the Del Pozo family.
U.S. Army Specialist Fernando Del Pozo Jr. grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and was raised by his grandmother who instilled strong values of loyalty, respect, honor, and always take care of family. Del Pozo joined the army in 2009, and he was stationed in Tacoma, Washington, throughout his five-year military career, including a one-year combat deployment to Afghanistan.
Del Pozo was trained as a gunner and served as a lead gunner during his deployment. While in Afghanistan, his convoy was attacked twice within a six-month period. During the second attack, Del Pozo was in a vehicle which was directly above an IED when it detonated. The vehicle was flipped, and he suffered significant injuries, forcing a medical evacuation. He was hospitalized for treatment and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.
The IED explosion left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic back pain which restricts movement and causes him to use a cane, arthritis throughout his body, combat-related PTSD, and anxiety.
For his service, Del Pozo was awarded a Purple Heart, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, an Army Achievement Medal, a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terror Service Medal, Combat Action Badge among many others.
Del Pozo met his wife, Adrenna, while training in Tacoma in 2011. The couple was married during Del Pozo’s R&R from deployment in 2012 and moved to Texas following Del Pozo’s honorable discharge from the military. His doctors suggested a warmer climate would allow for better quality of life with his chronic injuries.
The couple has three children and currently lives in Hockley, Texas. Adreena is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, while homeschooling the oldest two children.
Despite his limitations, Fernando is active with fellow veterans as he reintegrates himself back into society and enjoys hiking, fishing, and cooking.