On a solemn day for service members and first responders, one veteran got some added joy Friday in the form of a new home in Calvert County, Maryland.
Isaac Francois joined the Navy in 2004. “They asked me if I wanted to serve with the Marines, I said, ‘Yeah, why not?'”
He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 as a Navy corpsman, tending to the medical needs of Marines, and “came back home with some issues,” he said. Those included PTSD and a problem with his legs, diagnosed as bilateral compartment syndrome as a result of his service, which has required seven surgeries.
With the condition, “you get a lot of pressure in your muscles, and it’s very, very painful, and the only treatment is for them to cut through the muscles to release that pressure,” Francois said.
Now, Francois and his family have a new, modified, mortgage-free home in Lusby, Maryland, thanks to the group Building Homes for Heroes, along with JPMorgan Chase and SAIC.
“Words cannot describe what it feels like,” Francois said. “Obviously, it’s financial freedom, it’s peace of mind. It’s a lot.”
He received the house 19 years to the day after he was first scheduled to arrive in the U.S. from his native Haiti; Sept. 11, 2001 was supposed to be Francois’ first day in the country, but his flight was canceled by the terror attacks that day.