LAKELAND (FOX 13) - It was a very special homecoming for Former Army Sergeant Anthony Cala. Cala served for nearly a decade, and was wounded twice. On Tuesday, he was given the gift of a new home, mortgage free, courtesy of the organization, Building Homes for Heroes.
"These last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions," Cala told FOX 13 News. "When I saw all my family and friends... Just to see them, it was like, this is real. This is really happening!"
During one of Cala's three deployments, he was hit by an IED. In addition, Cala suffers from PTSD.
"He did three tours in Iraq," explains Kim Valdyke, Florida events planner with Building Homes for Heroes. "He saw his fair share of bad things. He is very, very deserving." When it was time for Cala and his family to enter the house for the first time, he could not hold his emotions back.
"Wow! It's incredible!, said Cala as he was fighting tears. "It's so beautiful."
Cala was living in Seattle, and brings his wife and two children to Lakeland with him.
"Now my family is safe. Now my family can be home, and make the house the way they want."