LAND 'O LAKES, Fla. - Retired US Air Force Major Gabriel Gonzalez's sacrifice to his country includes suffering a near-deadly traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq in 2017.
He fell from a moving vehicle after one of his missions. Gonzalez may face a lifetime of challenges and recovery, but this week he was given a gift that could make his recovery easier.
Wednesday, he received a hero's welcome to his new, mortgage-free home in Land O' Lakes.
Gonzalez will live in the house with his mother as he continues recovering.
It's thanks to the non-profit Building Homes for Heroes. The house is adapted to his needs with handrails, wheelchair accessibility, and more.
"It lets them continue their recovery without having to worry about being in a safe place," said Building Homes For Heroes director of construction Kim Vandyke.
Still a bit overwhelmed, the Gonzalezs kept their responses brief, their reactions speak volumes.
"It is beautiful," said Gabriel Gonzalez. "I thought the floors were really nice."
"I was really shocked and I'm so happy, thank you for this," said his mother, Miriam.