Retired Army Staff Sgt. Michael Kacer, a native of Throop Pennsylvania, enlisted in the Pa Army National Guard on February 3,1999, before his medical retirement in 2012. On June 18, 2008, Kacer and his fellow soldiers were in a building on a combat outpost when insurgents began firing 110mm Chinese rockets into the combat operations post. Kacer waiting on the convoy to arrive, one of the rockets came in through the roof, landing on the window sill next to him; resulting in injuries to his head, torso and the amputation of his left arm. The incident ended with Kacer receiving a six-inch fracture across the back of his head, left cheek severed causing nerve damage and paralysis, three broken ribs, two collapsed lungs, severed intestines, and his left arm to be amputated above the elbow.
He is currently married with a 14 month old daughter, while attending NCCU
pursuing a career in physical education, competing in Paralympic Taekwondo (3rd in nation to make the national team), and doing speaking engagments on overcoming adversity when applicable.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Duskin was killed October 23, 2012 in Chak district, Wardak province, Afghanistan after encountering small-arms fire during a dismounted patrol. During the fire fight that took his life, CWO2 Duskin rushed forward to help American and Afghan soldiers in his unit when three Taliban insurgents ambushed them, personally taking out two of the Taliban in the process.
CWO2 Duskin’s awards include three Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, a Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal among countless others. As a career military man, he also had the Expert Infantryman Badge, the combat Infantryman Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.
The family of Michael Duskin will receive the keys to Hero Home24, built by Pulte Homes, on December 22nd 2021.
During Operation MOSTARAK, Lance Corporal Polizzi landed with the 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, in the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, Afghanistan. On February 18,2010 Polizzi’s squad came under direct fire and Polizzi repaired and detonated an explosive breach while under fire, which allowed his element to move out of the enemy kill zone. As the Marines attacked through an open field, Lance Corporal Polizzi was wounded from small arms fire, but continued to lead his Marines until the enemy was destroyed. Lance Corporal Polizzi’s dedication to the mission and to the Marines under his charge represented the highest ideals of the US Marine Corps. US Marine Staff Seargeant Matthew Polizzi and his family now call Garner home, thanks to Mattamy Homes.
Polizzi received the Purple Heart in 2010.
On November 11, 2020, we will welcome home the family of U. S. Army, SFC Elis A. Barreto Ortiz. On September 5th, 2019, SFC Barreto was KIA in Kabul, Afghanistan during Operation Freedom Sentinel. SFC Barreto is survived by his wife Legna and his three children. SFC Elis A. Barreto Ortiz was born in Manati, Puerto Rico and was a Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart recipient.
?On July 1, 2020, we welcomed home U.S. Marine Cpl Jason Nichols to his new home in Clayton, N.C. Jason Nichols joined the Marine Corp in 2008 as a field radio operator and was assigned to the duty station of the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment in Camp Lejeune, N.C. In April 2011, Nichols was injured in Afghanistan from an IED that exploded beneath the vehicle he was driving. In 2012, Nichols received a Purple Heart.
As a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, U. S. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Dozier was among troops who swept through homes in terrorist-ridden areas, making sure they weren't covers for insurgents or their weapons. He was one of six soldiers killed when a house rigged with homemade bombs exploded during combat operations in Sinsil, Iraq, on January 9, 2008. Since then, his wife, Amy Dozier has become a mentor and resource for other war widows, like herself.
?On November 11, 2019, Veterans Day, we presented the Dozier's with the keys to Hero Home #20.
U.S. Army SSG Tommy Rieman received the keys to his new Hero Home on June 13, 2019. During a convoy operation in December 2003, SSG Rieman's three vehicle convoy came under heavy enemy fire. President George W. Bush recognized Sgt. Rieman during his 2007 State of the Union Address. "He was shot in the chest and arm, and received shrapnel wounds to his legs -- yet he refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight. He helped to repel a second attack, firing grenades at the enemy's position. For his exceptional courage, Sergeant Rieman was awarded the Silver Star of valor."
A Hero Home 18 celebration presented the keys for a new home on November 8, 2018, to U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Nate Rogers. Cpl. Rogers served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002-2005, most of which was spent in the communications division as a radio operator with his twin brother Matt Rogers. During his second deployment while in Fallujah with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, Cpl. Rogers sustained a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, a back injury, and shrapnel wounds when his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device.
?U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Von Canon was Airborne and Air Assault qualified, assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division. He deployed with this unit as an Interrogator and was injured in 2010 during a rocket attack in the Khost Province, Afghanistan. He sustained injuries to his back, neck, and hip and exacerbated previous injuries incurred as a paratrooper. He currently has titanium rods in his leg and hip and is 100% disabled status by the VA.
OCH presented the keys to Sgt. Anthony Von Canon and his family on July 12, 2018.
?U.S. Army Sgt. Justin B. Onwordi was killed while on patrol on August 2, 2004 (during Operation Iraqi Freedom) when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad. This is the first home that Operation Coming Home presented in memory of a fallen soldier. In addition, the home was a woman built for another woman, Sgt. Onwordi’s wife, Monique. On November 9, 2017, the family of Sgt. Justin B. Onwordi received the keys to their Hero Home.
U.S. Marine Recon Sergeant (Sgt) Brandon Temple served in numerous deployments and has attended multiple advanced infantry schools. During his time as a Force Recon Marine, his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a result, he suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and sustained lacerations to his head, face, and body. He later received a Purple Heart. Sgt. Temple and his wife received his new home on May 13, 2017.
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Brandan Taylor was presented the keys to a new home on Thursday, October 27, 2016. SSGT Taylor served in the USMC for 10 years, eight of which he spent in the Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command as a Marine Raider. He served on seven official deployments during his term. During a raid in the winter of 2014, SSGT Taylor sustained severe back, spine, and knee injuries that limited his ability to walk.
U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Khris DeCapua completed three tours of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, where his platoon was attacked by a suicide vehicle containing 600 pounds of explosives. The attack wounded 20 soldiers, including DeCapua, and left him with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and migraines. Sgt. DeCapua’s received the keys to his new home, located in Fort Mill, S.C., on September 16, 2016.
Sgt. Jimmion Clayton was wounded in Afghanistan, in 2012 by a suicide bomber while serving as a sergeant with the North Carolina Army National Guard in the 514th Military Police Company. He spent seven months in Afghanistan, with most of that time spent rehabilitating from shrapnel wounds incurred from the bombing that injured him and killed three other soldiers. This was the second home built for a North Carolina National Guard Soldier. Sgt. Clayton received the keys to his new home on May 20, 2016.
US Army veteran Sgt. Kyle Snyder will be eleventh Hero Home recipient of Operation Coming Home. Sgt. Snyder was wounded in service by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Snyder spent three years in and out of the hospital, including several months at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Snyder received the keys to his new home on Oct. 27, 2015.
On June 25, 2015, the tenth Hero Home was given to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Payne. Payne, enlisted in 2002, training at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Buffalo, N.Y. Upon completion of his training, he joined the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sgt. Payne was deployed three times and was injured during a combat patrol in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, losing both legs and severely injuring his left hand.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Oliver “Ollie” Hughes, a former contractor and Purple Heart recipient received the keys to the seventh Hero Home on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Sgt. Hughes was severely injured by an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan in April 2011.
On Nov. 7, 2013, OCH presented the keys to its sixth Hero Home to U.S. Army Ranger 1st Lt. Nathan Rimpf, a Raleigh native and alumnus of East Carolina University and Leesville Road High School. Rimpf, a Purple Heart recipient was severely injured by an IED explosion while serving in the Anbar Province of Afghanistan, in July 2012.
CPL Cody Stanton, an injured Raleigh soldier, and specialist with the 21st Military Police Company based at Fort Bragg, was the recipient of the OCH's fifth Hero Home on June 27, 2013. Stanton was deployed with the 21st Military Police Co. from Fort Bragg’s XVIII Airborne Corps in November 2011. In January 2012, Stanton and his unit were training with Afghan police about three hours outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, when he sustained severe injuries to both legs as the result of an IED explosion. Stanton was immediately sent to the Kandahar Airfield Hospital, where he received a Purple Heart prior to surgery. Since February 2012, Stanton had resided at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD prior to receiving the keys to his new home.
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Richie Chavis was the recipient of OCH’s fourth Hero Home. Chavis, a member of 1/8 Weapons Company, 2 D Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, lost both legs when he was severely injured by an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan on Nov. 29, 2010. After that time, he was active in the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, an organization dedicated to helping wounded, injured, and ill Marines and their families throughout the recovery and transition process. Chavis was presented with the keys to his new home on Dec. 10, 2012.
The keys to the eighth Hero Home were presented to U.S. Marine Cpl. Nathan Jakubisin, a Purple Heart recipient, on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Jakubisin, suffered severe leg and hand injuries from an improvised explosive device (IED) while conducting patrols in the Kajaki District of Helmand Province in Afghanistan on June 9, 2012.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Ryan Wightman was presented with the keys to the ninth Hero Home. Held on Thursday, March 26, 2015 the ceremony honored Cpl. Wightman, who was injured by an improvised explosive device while trying to help a fallen Marine in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan on May 26, 2012.
Sgt. Carlos Evans, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and his family were the recipients of the third Hero Home on Dec. 2, 2011. Sgt. Evans joined the Marines in 2004 and has been deployed to combat areas four times, the first three to Iraq and the last one to Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, Sgt. Evans was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device, losing both legs above the knee and his left hand.
As a member of the 2d AAV in Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sgt. Stanley A. Roberts U.S. Marine Corps served three tours of duty in Iraq. During his last tour, he was injured by an improvised exploding device (IED) blast into his amphibious assault vehicle (AAV). This blast resulted in the loss of Sgt. Roberts’ right leg, injuries to his right arm, and traumatic brain injury. Sgt. Roberts took ownership of his new Hero Home after a celebration on Nov. 4, 2010.
In October 2008, Operation Coming Home donated the first Hero Home to veteran Sgt. Joey Bozik, in the 16th Military Police Brigade based at Fort Bragg. Bozik was injured in 2004 when his Humvee hit a bomb south of Baghdad. Bozik sacrificed both legs and one arm in Iraq as a result of the roadside bomb. Joey and his wife Jayme moved into their new home on his “Alive Day” of October 27, 2008.
To be considered for the Operation Coming Home Project, please complete and return the Hero Home Application.