El Paso wounded hero honored at George Strait concert
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — An El Paso wounded hero was honored Saturday night with a free home at the George Strait concert in Las Cruces.
Sgt. Alfredo "Freddy" Gutierrez and his wife Christina Gutierrez received the home through a combined partnership between the Military Warriors Support Foundation and George Strait.
"This is something awesome, something beautiful," Sgt. Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez had served for eight years in the Texas Army National Guard.
The Gutierrez family had their lives completely change during Freddy's deployment to Iraq.
The vehicle he was traveling in was attacked with explosives.
Gutierrez said the vehicle filled with smoke and he helped get the others inside to safety while being shot at by enemy fire.
Once stateside he began suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury and has been adjusting to civilian life.
He said he didn't notice any changes at first but his wife and kids spotted it immediately.
"They say you're not my dad, you're different," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez then had to resign his job as a Hudspeth County Sheriff's deputy after further struggling with his condition.
"I was the only one supporting the family with the help of our family members," said Gutierrez's wife Christina. "We'd live with relatives."
Gutierrez's health has been improving with the help of the foundation.
"It's given me hope to move on and to take care of myself so that way I can take care of my family," Gutierrez said.
Christina said their new home will help them continue working on getting their family back to normal.
"Our kids will have their own rooms," Christina said. "It's just wonderful they'll have their yard and they can have their pets."
For the sergeant and his wife their first George Strait concert will be hard to forget, but Gutierrez hopes others remember his story and his message.
"A word to the other veterans out there, I understand I've been there but if you need help just ask," Gutierrez said.