Local Marine veteran gets free new home

By Lauren Freeman - Anchor
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BAYTOWN, Texas - It's a day a wounded Baytown Marine veteran and his family will never forget.

They received the keys to a new mortgage-free home.

Staff Sergeant T.J. Edwards, his wife and two children have been through so much and they couldn't be happier.

Edwards served in the Marine Corps for 11 years.

In 2006, he was severely injured in Iraq when an improvised explosive device blast burned nearly 50 percent of his body.

Following his recovery, Edwards deployed to Afghanistan with his unit, being the first severely wounded marine to deploy into combat operations.

"It was a tragic experience. I came out the stronger man," Edwards said.

In fact, now back from his second tour, he is the recipient of a purple heart, Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal with gold star, and many other awards.

"It feels like we won the lottery, it really does. I'm humbled by this experience," said Edwards.

The fully furnished home was donated by Bank of America and Texas Sentinels Foundation.

"I'm looking forward to living here with my family. This is such an amazing moment it's hard to put into words," added Edwards.

Bank of America recently surpassed its goal to donate 1,000 properties for military service member families and first responders who have housing needs like the Edwards family.

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