Wounded Marine Given Keys to Brand-New, Mortgage-Free Custom Home

A Marine from Madison County, AL, recently received the keys to his own brand-new, custom-built home, given to him for free by two area organizations that pitched in to build the house.

According to a November 10 AL.com article, Brandon Johnson, a veteran who now suffers from chronic leg pain after getting nerve damage when an IED exploded near him while he was serving in Iraq in 2004, previously lived in a 900-square-foot home that failed to fully accommodate his disability.

The husband and father of three will now have a mortgage-free, 2,600-square-foot home built to make his disability more manageable. According to AL.com, Jeff Benton Homes and Operation FINALLY HOME came together to build the home for Johnson.

Currently, Johnson uses a cane to get around, but as his disability worsens with age, doctors told him he will need to use a wheelchair someday. AL.com reports that his custom-built home has been equipped with wheelchair ramps, wide doorways, a handicapped-accessible shower and a spacious kitchen that has enough room for both Johnson and his family to use comfortably.

“We are seeing more and more custom built homes and feature selections for those who have served, these features include simple things like master bedrooms on the first floor to custom bathrooms and kitchens. We are also seeing many veterans opt for features many of our homes include, like large walk in showers with no doors, to waist level switch heights,” says Erik Cocks, Marketing for Arthur Rutenberg Homes.

Johnson and his family also had the opportunity to add their own personal touch to their new home. According to AL.com, the family chose its own appliances and had input in the home’s interior design. Johnson’s children got to choose the colors of their own bedrooms.

Tiffany Johnson, Brandon’s wife, told AL.com that a similar home in their area would cost anywhere from $240,000 to $340,000, and wouldn’t feature any of the same amenities to accommodate her husband’s needs.

“Peace of mind (is the biggest benefit of the new home),” she said. “The fact that everything is accessible to him makes it perfect.”