After moving around as the son of two soldiers, then becoming a service member himself, a purple heart veteran is now putting down roots right here in Tucson. Thanks to a donation from Wells Fargo and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, retired army specialist Darnell Harrison and his family got the keys to a new home.
"I'm really grateful to be alive. I'm really grateful to get this house. I'm happy and I'm speechless," said Harrison.
The new home is mortgage- free. It's three bedrooms and 2 and a half bathrooms.
"This is an opportunity for Wells Fargo to and the community to thank our veterans. And being part of this process is truly an honor," said Jonathan Vomlehn with Wells Fargo.
Overwhelmed by the generosity, Harrison said he joked about a gift just like this while serving in Afghanistan.
"It's something I thought about after a firefight. I would say when we go back home or if I make it home, this is something we should have. Thank goodness there is something like this out there. I didn't think so. I was joking around," said Harrison.
Harrison is a disabled veteran who was deployed twice to Afghanistan as a combat infantry machine gunner and motor vehicle operator. He's received a Purple Heart for being injured in combat. Harrison's girlfriend, Brittany Barry, also served in Afghanistan as a marine. With their new born daughter, the family moved to Tucson from Georgia to start a new beginning.
"The sky's the limit here in Tucson," said Harrison.
"As Darnell said, he didn't know about our organization, he had to find it online. So I'm hoping that with media presence that it gets the word out to other veterans," said Sandra Ignaszewski
Since 2012, Wells Fargo has donated more than 350 homes to veterans in 50 states.