This is a gift that will keep on giving. Warsaw, IN native U.S. Army SSG Justin Raymer and his family thought they were simply attending Craig Morgan’s “American Stories” concert Nov. 19 at the Wagon Wheel Theatre, but they were in store for the surprise of their lives.
Justin’s father, Mike, the assistant Fire Chief for the Winona Lake Fire Department told Justin that Craig Morgan was looking for veterans to attend the concert. When Craig, an Army veteran himself, finished his third song of the night, he invited Justin and Kaci to the stage where they were surprised with the news that they were receiving a mortgage-free home. “I have been gone for 15 years,” Justin said. “It means a lot to finally come home and bring our entire family together.”
Operation FINALLY HOME, R.W. Kidd and the Builders and the Builders Association of Kosciusko Fulton Counties have teamed to build the home for the Raymer family. “We are so grateful for this unique opportunity to honor and give back to U.S. Army SSG Raymer and his family and we look forward to welcoming them home next September,” said Trisha Steger, Executive Officer, Builders Association of Kosciusko Fulton Counties.
Operation FINALLY HOME Executive Director Rusty Carroll added, “We are so honored to partner with R.W. Kidd and the Builders Association of Kosciusko Fulton Counties to bring Justin and his family ‘home’ to Warsaw. Justin and Kaci want to raise their children near family and we are blessed to be able to make that dream come true for this deserving veteran.”
About U.S. Army SSG Justin Raymer:
U.S. Army SSG Justin Raymer served for more than 13 years, including four years with the Warsaw Army National Guard and nine years with the U.S. Army, between 2001 and 2015. Justin was deployed to Iraq three times and was involved in several attacks including a Scud with two Patriot missiles attack, an IED blast that rolled his truck and a friendly fire incident. Due to the multiple attacks, Justin sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in addition to other injuries to multiple joints.
Because of his honorable service, Justin has received several military awards, medals and commendations including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, multiple Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medals and many more. While home between deployments, Justin met and married his wife, Kaci. They currently live in Georgia with their son and three daughters. While being “softball and baseball parents” keep them busy, Justin and Kaci have a desire and need to be closer to family in Warsaw, Ind., where Justin was born.
Justin’s dad is the Assistant Fire Chief for the Winona Lake Fire Department (Lake Winona is a city very near Warsaw) so they want to get back to the Warsaw area to raise their children. And thanks to RW Kidd, the Builders Association of Kosciusko and Fulton Counties and Operation FINALLY HOME, they’ll be able to do just that in 2017!
To make a 100 percent donation to the Justin Raymer project, text “WARSAW” TO 41444. And, if you would like to donate materials or if you are an experienced labor volunteer, please contact the Builders Association of Kosciusko and Fulton Counties at (574) 267-6125. To learn more about Operation FINALLY Home go to their website