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Soldier moves into mortgage-free home in Chino as part of effort to help wounded veterans

June 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
It is a happy homecoming for a soldier wounded during combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his family just moved into their new home in Chino, but they won't have to worry about a mortgage because it is part of an effort to help soldiers injured during combat.

Rigo Saenz and his wife, Dinora, held a house-warming celebration on Friday. It's something they once thought was impossible. Thanks to Bank of America and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, their dream came true.

"They say...it feels like you win the lotto, and it does," said Saenz.

The Military Warriors Support Foundation has turned 185 soldiers into homeowners. Bank of America has committed to provide 24 homes to wounded soldiers.

"It's our way to revitalize communities by providing housing for families in need," said Tiarzaha Taylor, who represents Bank of America.

Saenz, a Purple Heart recipient, was hit by an improvised explosive device in Iraq and suffered traumatic brain injury. He also severely injured his left leg. He said not having a place to really call home was tough. Now, with a four-bedroom house and a backyard, Saenz and his wife said their family has a brighter future.

"My kids, they can go outside and play now, because we used to be renting. It was a two-unit, so they couldn't go out and play, so now they do," said Dinora Saenz.