Wounded veteran surprised during Aggie game with brand new home

POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 5:31pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 10:16am

The Texas A&M Aggies may have gotten a big win this weekend against the Sam Houston State Bearkats but it wasn't just the football team walking away with a victory.

Operation FINALLY HOME and the King Oaks community pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the game for a true American hero.

30-year-old Sergeant Monte Bernardo and his family thought they were coming to Kyle Field Saturday to be recognized as part of A&M's Military Appreciation day but little did Sgt. Bernardo know he was about to become the star of the halftime show.

A video played on the big screen of Gov. Perry, "It is my distinguished pleasure to announce that this home will be built for Sgt. Monte Bernardo who was badly wounded fighting for our country."

Operation FINALLY HOME -- a non-profit organization that provides custom made, mortgage-free homes to our wounded and disabled veterans -- partnered with the King Oaks community in Bryan-College Station to donate a home to Sgt. Bernardo and his family.

"This is something he earned on the battlefield," said Daniel Vargas with Operation FINALLY HOME. "He decided to take an oath and stand on a wall and defend all of us and if anyone deserves the American dream it's these young men and women."

Sgt. Bernardo, of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, was badly wounded by an IED on the fourth of July during his second deployment to Afghanistan.

He lost both of his legs and his left hand.

"I'd do it again in a second," said Sgt. Bernardo. "I wouldn't go back on it. It's that feeling of patriotism I guess."

Now thanks to generous donations, Operation FINALLY HOME and King Oaks will not only give Sgt. Bernardo an all-expenses paid home but a sense of normalcy and a chance at a new beginning.

"This makes it worth fighting for. Made it worth the last six and a half years of my life, made it worth my legs, my hand," said Sgt. Bernardo. "It's all worth it to have people like this. Every American should be like this that's for sure."

Sgt. Bernardo will move to Aggieland once all of his rehabilitation is completed in Maryland.

He then plans on attending Texas A&M University and major in aerospace engineering.


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