HUMBLE, Texas – An American hero was surprised with a new place for him and his family to live in the Houston area Friday morning.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Michael Byrne and his family received a custom-built and mortgage-free home in Humble.
Byrne and his family thought they were coming for the preliminary interview process for the new home, but little did they know, they actually got the home.
The family knew something was up when it got an escort from the Patriot Guard Riders to the site on Overton Wood Drive in the Groves Master Plan community of Humble.
The nonprofit Operation Finally Home hosted a groundbreaking for the family's new mortgage-free home.
Michael Byrne met his wife, Michelle, who is also a Marine, while stationed at Camp Pendleton, in California.
Michael Byrne is a decorated Marine, and an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and during his service, he was involved in eight different roadside bomb blasts. That experience left him critically injured and he had to retire.
He said his new home is a huge boost for him and his family.
"I actually didn't think it was ever going to happen. I didn't think, you know, an organization was going to build a house for me. Just like, not in my card," Michael Byrne said.
"Everything is just so beautiful here. I'm excited to raise our kids here and become a part of it," Michelle Byrne said.
Michael Byrne also has post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments due to his combat injuries, which makes it very difficult for him to work. He said he's pursuing a college degree focusing on community planning so he can help homeless military veterans in the future.
Michael Byrne, along with his wife, son and daughter, hopes to move into the home at the end of the year.