U.S. Marine veteran honored with mortgage-free home
U.S. Marine Sergeant Bernie Justilien has served his country and many others since 2001, and on Thursday, he was served the keys to a new home.
After serving in the military as a gunner in Afghanistan for 6 years, Justilien was medically discharged leading him and his family on a path to homelessness.
Justilien was homeless 10 times since he was discharged in 2007. But Justilien turned his life around, went to school, and is now a counselor working with children and families who have been impacted by traumatic events.
At a ceremony on Thursday, Justilien was escorted to his new home in the Foxfire community by the Patriot Guard. When he got out of the vehicle, he was emotional and burst into tears.
“Walking into my house I’m speechless,” Justilien said. “This is still a dream. I don’t know what to say, But I can say that this is an American dream. I believe in America and that there’s still hope for all veterans.”
Now, the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals and Bank of America is serving Justilien, just as he has served so many.
Justilien new home is renovated, mortgage-free and furnished in Fayetteville. This donation is a part of a partnership between Bank of America and the VAREP to help revitalize communities and support the housing needs of veterans.
The home comes with a washer, dryer and refrigerator and is carefully decorated.
Justilien has a wife and newborn baby. While touring the house, he said his favorite room was the playroom. It has a teepee set up in it for his little daughter. His wife says she really loves the kitchen and the big backyard.