Gold Star Family surprised with new Hero Home in Fuquay-Varina as part of Operation Coming Home

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Monday, January 2, 2023
Gold Star Family surprised with new home in Fuquay-Varina
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"I want to say thank all y'all for making this possible. Y'all are a blessing way more than you could ever know."

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Gold Star Family is starting the new year with a big surprise.

Ava Bradley and three of her four children believed they were headed to a model home in Fuquay-Varina on January 2 to meet with a builder and developer as part of their application process for Operation Coming Home. However, the family was surprised while on-site with the news that they would be receiving Hero Home 27.

"Y'all are a blessing," Bradley said through tears and laughs to everyone on site.

Operation Coming Home is in association with the Raleigh-based nonprofit US Veterans Corps. The program honors the sacrifice of those who have served by providing brand new custom homes to wounded veterans and Gold Star Families like The Bradleys.

Ava lost her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Juantrea "Trea" Bradley Sr. in March 2008 during Operation Iraqi Freedom from wounds sustained when his vehicle caught fire from a nearby mortar attack. Bradley was one of three killed in the attack.

"There was five of them in there and three of them didn't make it," Bradley said. "So, two of them are still here with us so we still have those two angels here but he loved what he did."

Ava and four kids were left behind. She says the years following her husband's death were difficult.

"The first 5-6 years, it was it was really rough," she said. "Then, you rely on your faith, which we were, you know, a faith abundant family before then. He wasn't afraid of death. So, I feel like you did what you were supposed to do. He was like I do this for my country and now he did what he needed to do and now I have to do what I have to do," Bradley explained about finding the strength to move forward and take care of her family.

She works as a mental health therapist in Greenville, North Carolina, but the family will move to the Harnett County side of Fuquay-Varina in a new development called Serenity once the house is complete.

"It's going to be 1,200 homes when it's all built out," explained Ben Taylor of Greenfield Communities, the developer of Serenity.

"Greenfields really proud to support the military community," Taylor said. "This is just one small way we can give back."

Garman Homes will build The Bradley's home.

"For us, it's really special," explained Alaina Money-Garman, Garman Homes CEO. "To be able to build a home for another woman to have a woman own company building for a widow of a fallen soldier is really special for all of us," Money-Garman added.

Bradley's home is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.

"I want to say thank all y'all for making this possible," Bradley said. "Y'all are a blessing way more than you could ever know."