Sears Teams with Operation Homefront to Award Mortgage-Free
Homes to Two Veterans This Past Holiday Season
SAN ANTONIO – Operation Homefront, serving America’s military families® since 2002, awarded two newly built mortgage-free homes, each donated by Sears, to two veterans this past holiday season. The homes were provided through the national nonprofit’s Homes on the Homefront program.
Each gift was made possible through Sears’ Heroes at Home program, through which Sears members and customers have generously donated to Operation Homefront when checking out at Sears stores and when visiting sears.com/heroesathome.
The first home was awarded after Thanksgiving.
Steve Surface on Nov. 28 was awarded a 1,629-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-story, single-family home built by Wade Jurney Homes in Spring Hill, Fla.
“This new home means so much to us,” said Surface. “It will provide support and stability for my wife and daughter. My daughter will be able to have friends, especially in the neighborhood. It’s really hard to grasp the concept of a mortgage-free home, but this will be a part of my recovery, and we will be part of a great community.”
Born in North Carolina at Pope Air Force Base, Surface is the son of a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran. When Surface graduated from high school, he decided to follow his family’s legacy of military service and enlisted in the Marines. He served for almost nine years in the Marine Corps.
In 1993, he deployed to Somalia. Surface returned safely and decided he was not yet finished serving his country. He decided to reenlist but, this time, with the Indiana Army National Guard. He would serve for three more years before enlisting in the Army Reserve in 2004.
In 2006, Surface would again become an active-duty service member. He rose to the rank of sergeant first class in the Army and served as a platoon sergeant for an infantry unit. From 2010 to 2011, he served in Afghanistan. He would earn a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his courageous and selfless acts in combat. In 2016, he retired with an honorable discharge.
Operation Homefront and Sears handed over the keys to the other home days before Christmas.
Air Force Senior Airman Kristen Lovelace on Dec. 19 received the keys to her newly built, mortgage-free home. Lovelace was awarded an 1,805-square-foot, two-story, four-bedroom, single-family home built by Wade Jurney Homes in Villa Rica, Ga.
“It’s amazing,” said Lovelace. “Thank you, Operation Homefront and Sears. We are so happy, and we now have a foundation for our future. It’s hard to describe the amount of gratitude we feel. This gift is truly meaningful and will impact our lives in such a positive way.”
Born and raised in Lynchburg, Va., Lovelace was the first woman in her family to enlist in the military. She joined the Air Force in 2008 at 19 and is a third-generation veteran. Lovelace followed in the footsteps of her father, who served in the Navy and is a Vietnam veteran, and her grandfather, who served in the Marines in World War II.
Lovelace served for five years in the Air Force as a bioenvironmental engineer. In 2011, she served a deployment to Qatar before being medically retired in 2013. During her term of service, she earned several medals and awards, including an Air Force Good Conduct Medal and Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Award.
After the military, Lovelace and her husband, Nathan, moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Marietta, Ga. Kristen learned about Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program through a support network she is active in called Georgia Military Women. When the home in Villa Rica became available, she quickly applied.
Lovelace’s plans are to establish her own business. Nathan will finish his degree in mechanical engineering in 2018 and is excited to begin working in the field. The couple look forward to growing their family with the stability and security that the new home will provide.
Operation Homefront created the Homes on the Homefront program with the assistance of corporate partners to award mortgage-free homes to our nation’s veterans and military families. Since 2012, Operation Homefront has placed nearly 600 military families nationwide, providing them with more than $60 million in deeded value.
Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 92 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.