EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A local family of a fallen Marine received a new, mortgage-free home thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation on Tuesday.
The foundation honored the service and sacrifice of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Norberto Mendez-Hernandez by giving his widow Lorena and their children, Anthony and Audrey a new home.
LCpl. Mendez-Hernandez fulfilled a lifelong dream when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2010. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, leaving behind his son and newborn daughter. He was just 22-years-old when he was killed in action on July 10, 2011, while conducting combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Since his death, Mendez-Hernandez’s family has moved more than a dozen times, uprooting the children and forcing them to leave their school, friends, and routines each time.
“Because of Tunnel to Towers providing this mortgage-free home, it opens up many possibilities for me and my kids. more money towards their education, more possibilities for extracurricular activities and stability for the rest of our lives,” Lorena Mendez-Hernandez told KTSM.
The Tunnel to Towers Gold Star Family Home Program honors the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The foundation provides mortgage-free homes to surviving families with young children.
“I know this gift of a mortgage-free home will give the family back a sense of security and stability they have not had since LCpl. Mendez-Hernandez lost his life serving his country,” Tunnels to Towers Foundation Chairman and CEO Frank Siller said in a press release.
The Mendez-Hernandez children, ages 11 and 9, say they’re most looking forward to having their own rooms.