The residents of Embrey Mill, Virginia, recently welcomed some very special neighbors: retired U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Goodrich and his family, who received the keys to their very own brand-new home.

Operation Finally Home is a nonprofit organization that creates custom-built, mortgage-free homes for U.S. veterans and their families. Their mission, according to their website, is “to help America’s military heroes and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs—a home to call their own.”

Sgt. Goodrich served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was seriously injured during an attack on his outpost. Upon return to the States, he was awarded a Purple Heart, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star.

“Michael is truly a hero and represents all the young men and women who serve today,” Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas told Virginia’s Free Lance-Star.

Larry Adams-Thompson of Operation Finally Home says the small Stafford County neighborhood exemplifies his organization’s values. “The community’s arms have been open since the very beginning,” he said, “when the only thing here was a bulldozer and dirt.”

As the house was built, community members visited the site to write letters of encouragement and love on the house’s studs.

Sgt. Goodrich; his wife, Jacqueline; and their two children, Lucy, 8, and Tag, 5, were welcomed to their new house with a beautiful dedication ceremony.

“We’re still in a bit of shock and in complete awe of how the community came together to support our family today, and over these last nine months,” Jacqueline said. “We have a forever home now, and are the utmost grateful to Operation Finally Home, Miller and Smith, Newland Communities and to everyone who helped welcome us into a new chapter of our lives.”

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