In many ways, paying off a mortgage is one of the most elusive aspects of the American Dream.
Countless couples have to work until retirement to finally own their own home, but thanks to Veterans United Home Loans, Amy and Mario Perez won’t be among them. The Jacksonville, North Carolina, pair was one of just 11 military families nationwide to receive a life-changing surprise for their continued service to their country.
During his 13-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Mario served two deployments in 24 different countries before retiring. Amy also served as a Marine, and since retiring, she has become the community development director for “Remember Everyone Deployed,” an organization that supports the families of deployed service members.
Both Amy and Mario understand the sacrifice of both being deployed and being at home while their partner is serving overseas. Even in retirement, they have worked tirelessly to promote veterans’ rights and honor their contributions to our society.
Veterans United selected them for this continued service to their community after retirement, and “Good Morning America” helped surprise the couple with the news that their entire mortgage would be paid off in full!
ABC News correspondent Rob Marciano led a huge crowd — which included fellow veterans, the local high school marching band, and many of their closest friends and family members — to their door. Amy and Mario had just closed on their new home the day before after searching for housing for months. They were blown away when they saw Rob and realized they were live on national TV.
“We’ve heard so much about your story, how much you’ve given to the community, from your friends and your neighbors, and we just want to tell everyone about you,” Rob explained.
He then held up a copy of their new mortgage and ripped it into pieces!
Amy and Mario were at a loss for words as they realized what was happening. Both held back tears of joy when it sank in that they were now mortgage-free!
“The American Dream is something everyone strives for. And here we are with an opportunity to give not only back to the community, but also to give to our family as well,” Mario said.
“I mean, we’re still in shock,” Amy agreed. “With our house paid for, I mean, it’s a dream come true, right?”
This family is a wonderful example of Marine Corps values, showing honor, courage, and commitment even after their tours have ended. We can’t think of a more deserving recipient for this incredible gift!
Watch them get the best shock of their lives in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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