For USMC Lance Corporal Nick Ellis, July 17’s Building Homes for Heroes Welcome Home ceremony was both heartwarming and bittersweet. Ellis, a South Florida Marine Corps veteran, who was gifted a mortgage-free home in Oakland Park, Florida, just learned the news a few hours prior about his fellow Marine and friend, Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, being killed in a tragic shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee the day before.
On the verge of tears, Ellis said, “I believe, and I’m accepting this home on behalf of Thomas as well because he’s a good man.”
Sullivan helped Ellis in 2005 during the Battle of Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Ellis praised him for saving his life. “I got hit with a grenade blast to the Humvee,” said Ellis. “He was one of the guys who helped pick me up when I got hurt and put me in the Humvee. That’s how close he was.”
Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of men and women of the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and gift the homes to severely injured veterans nationwide, mortgage free.
Those welcoming this veteran home included representatives from Fort Lauderdale-based contractor, Thermal Concepts, and Pompano Beach-based distributor, Economic Electric Motors, who contributed to the home.
To learn more about Building Homes for Heroes or to donate, visit www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.