Life comes at you fast. We don’t always get to choose when our lives change, and we’re not always ready. This includes times like going on your first date, buying your first home, or the birth of your first child. Some people try to wait until the moment is perfect or they are completely prepared. The same can be said of service members, who have readiness drilled into them from day one of basic training. John Klein is a veteran who, even though he sometimes jumps head-first into new situations, wanted to wait for the perfect moment to make another major life change.
Klein, a former U.S. Army Specialist & Purple Heart recipient, received the key to his mortgage-free home through the Homes4WoundedHeroes program. Some might say that suddenly having a house for your three children is a big enough change for one day. However, Klein had more on his mind that moving his family into their new home. As soon as the key turnover ceremony was over, he turned around and proposed to his long-term girlfriend Marquita Taylor.
“I’ve been wanting to propose to her for a while, but I wasn’t comfortable with where my life was before,” said Klein. “Now I’m at a spot in my life where I felt comfortable asking her to marry me. My boys love her just like a mom, and feeling comfortable enough to propose after getting the house really put an exclamation point on the entire event for us.”
John and Marquita have been together for almost 4 years and have known they want to be together for a while now. Finally having a home for their family gave them the solid foundation to build and grow together in the longterm. They have been making plans for the house and their property, like raising chickens and goats, as well as planting some Crape Myrtle trees along the driveway. But they are also making plans for their personal lives.
“Now that we’re going to be able to save money we’re talking to people about working on our credit as well. Since the house is mortgage-free, I’m also able to take the money I save and work on making my financial foundation sound,” said Klein. “This has made everything a lot more possible. It’s not such a reach anymore, it’s all within my grasp. It’s going to take time, but we’ll get there.”
Since moving in, the family has met a few of the neighbors and started to become a bit more active in the community as they get settled in. Marquita also said that moving out to the country has done wonders for John’s mental health.
“He’s up with me every morning, drinks his coffee, and actually functions. It’s so much better here,” said Taylor. “You wouldn’t think a move that took less than 3 hours would make such a difference, but it really has. It has been amazing just from how much time we’ve spent outside from what we did before because of the crowds in the city.”
It’s safe to say that things have worked out well for John and the family. Looking back, all of this was possible because of a single phone call.
“I was initially calling just for help getting my license back, and John Hill explained what the organization did and about how they give mortgage-free homes,” said Klein. “Instead of just saying ‘we don’t do that’ and hanging up, he asked me how I was doing. I applied the next day and here we are.”
The Homes4WoundedHeroes program has put combat-wounded veterans and Gold Star families into almost 1000 homes nationwide. John had a message for people who were interested in applying for one of the MWSF programs but might be undecided about whether or not it was worth it.
“I would tell them not to worry about the stress and everything that you might think that comes with applying or the application process,” said Klein. “Military Warriors Support Foundation made me their priority and made sure that they worked with me to minimize my stress. The main thing with the organization is that they’ll make it as easy as they can on the people who apply.”
So while to some people a house is a home, to John, it was a foundation for making his family stronger. It gave him a place to grow old with his future wife, and a place for his children to grow up in a stable household.
For more information on the Homes4WoundedHeroes or other Military Warriors Support Foundation Programs, visit https://militarywarriors.org/programs/ today!