Operation Homefront and Chase Hand Over Keys To Newlyweds
Today, Marine Sgt. Keith Buckmon and his family got the keys to their new home in Chester, Maryland. They were surprised with the home on their wedding day, in San Antonio
a little over a month ago. This home giveaway is part of the partnership between Operation Homefront and Chase to donate homes to deserving military families and veterans through the Homes on the Homefront
program.Learn more about the Buckmons...
Something just didn’t feel right to Marine Sgt. Keith Buckmon. He was working the security detail for his company commander as they filed in for a town meeting in Iraq; Keith sensed something was amiss. Then he saw a man dressed as an Iraqi policeman within 10 feet of his commander; before he could warn the group the man was wearing a vest of explosives, the bomb went off.
Keith was one of two people to survive the attack. The explosives shattered his legs, severely damaged an arm and caused traumatic brain injury. He lay in a coma as doctors debated amputating his legs. In the 24 surgeries that followed that June 26, 2008, bombing, Keith’s legs and right arm were almost completely rebuilt.
“I think it took me about four months before I could actually stand up,” Keith said. “The first time I stood up, it was only for about five or six seconds.”
He had to learn to walk all over again. It was six months before the 27-year-old could take his first step with the aid of therapists from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
As Keith struggled to literally get back on his feet, his wife and young daughter tried to adjust to the cramped quarters of hotel living. Damaris had been pursuing her degree in Hawaii, where the family had been stationed when he deployed. She and then 1-year-old Jy’zella moved to Washington, D.C., to be with Keith as he recuperated. Damaris carried a full course load of online studies for her degree between appointments. When baby Iz’abella arrived in 2010, she had to share her parents’ bed.
Then the family found Operation Homefront Village-DC. They were able to stay in a fully furnished apartment rent-free for nearly three years while Keith continued his rehabilitation. While at the Village, Keith and Damaris attended free classes on financial planning.
The Buckmons have extended family in the DC area, and hoped to find a home nearby. Thanks to the Homes on the Homefront program, that hope is a reality. The Buckmons will receive a home in nearby Chester, Md., with the help of Operation Homefront and the generosity of Chase.
With the security of a permanent home anchoring their future, the Buckmons are focused on resurrecting a sense of stability for her young family. “(My goal is) kind of living a normal life,” Damaris said. “Having a house and our family being OK.”