On Saturday, November 8th in Lake Elsinore, CA injured Marine Corps veteran Michael Bawden and his family were given the keys to a newly-renovated, mortgage-free home through the HomeStrong’s Heroes program in partnership with Bank of America, who donated the property. The home will give Michael Bawden, his expecting wife and three children a permanent, safe environment to live and grow their beautiful family.

“Although we are unable to repay all of our veterans for their sacrifices,” said Jed Davis, CEO of HomeStrong USA, a national non-profit community development organization. “We can honor them by giving back to one of their own.”

Michael Bawden enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 2003 to serve our county and help the war on terror. Michael was stationed at Camp Lejune, Camp Pendleton, Aberdeen, various training sites and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving as a 2111 Small Arms Repair Technician and maintaining weapon’s armories, Michael suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with life long vision problems, insomnia and disorientation issues.

After serving his country, Michael returned home to his family only to find that life was going to get even harder. While expecting their third child, both Michael and his wife were laid off from their jobs due to the economic downturn. Immediately, Michael began applying for any job available, sometimes sending out 25 resumes per day. In 2013, Michael was hired by a security company and has excelled in his position.

door-opening          new-room

Now, with three children and another on the way, Michael’s dream of living in a home of their own has never been stronger. The Bawden’s financial situation has improved, but with limited income, they have been forced to live with family members and borrow cars to go to and from work. “I really could use a house for my wife and kids,” said Michael Bawden. “They would love to have their own bedrooms, a place they can decorate and play.”

The Bawden’s dream became a reality when they were given the keys to a newly renovated, mortgage-free home on November 8th. For the first time in their lives, the Bawden’s have a place to call their own and their children are finally able to hang the pictures they draw on their own walls.

To ensure long-term success as homeowners, the HomeStrong’s Heroes program will also provide the Bawden family with access to ongoing financial education and counseling from HomeStong USA’s Certified Military Housing Specialists.