Norberto Mendez-Hernandez was a Marine who died while he served in Afghanistan in 2011, at the age of 22. He was a husband and father, leaving behind his wife, son and newborn daughter.

The family had moved from place to place since his death, and never really settled down—until today.

Since receiving a mortgage-free home from an organization that honors the legacy of those who made the sacrifice while serving our country, their life has changed forever.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is bringing that feeling of togetherness back to their family.

The foundation was established after Stephen Siller, a New York firefighter, sacrificed his life for others while serving on 9/11. Since then about 170 families have been supported by the foundation.

“Sometimes families feel like they are going to lose their house, so paying off their mortgage is significant help,” said Andrew McClure, a coordinator for the foundation.

This is a day that members of the family say they never will forget.

“This is so beautiful. This is amazing,” said Lorena Mendez-Hernandez, Norberto’s wife.

The home is in the town of Horizon, a location they chose to live in.

Their children, Anthony and Audrey, were extremely excited about running upstairs and picking out which room would be theirs.

The children said they’re excited about starting school in their new district. Anthony said he can’t wait to play football, while Audrey said she wants to begin cheerleading and dancing.

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