Celina Marine veteran gets mortgage-free home

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps received the keys to a new mortgage-free home in Celina. He served four years and was recognized with numerous awards for his service. 

With first responders and city officials on hand, the Mendoza family received a gift Monday unlike any other. 

"Thank you for your faithful service to our nation and your love for Celina," said Celina Mayor Pro Tem Jay Pearce. "And whenever you enter or leave your home, may you know you are a hero, and your hometown forever salutes you."

U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Nef Mendoza and his family were selected by Operation Finally Home. That organization partnered with Normandy Homes to build a house. 

Mendoza joined the Marine Corps at age 18 and served four years, including a six-month deployment to Libya. After completing his enlistment in 2018, he enrolled in college in hopes of becoming a police officer. 

Suddenly, in November of 2018, Mendoza collapsed and had to be airlifted to the hospital. His left leg was amputated above the knee. Turns out his collapse was caused by a ruptured aorta due to untreated hypertension and PTSD-related to his military service. 


Injured North Texas Army veteran gifted new, mortgage-free home

Ret. Army Specialist Jonathan Merchant has been living in this rented home in Burleson. On Saturday, the injured veteran will move to a brand-new ADA-modified home. The mortgage-free home will literally give him and his wife a new lease on life.

Mendoza was recognized with numerous awards, including the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He now volunteers with the Adaptive Training Foundation, a nonprofit that helps veterans and civilians adjust to life-altering injuries. 

"Amazing feeling for me and my family," he said. "We have been staying with friends. Haven't had a home for a while. Pretty excited to be home."