CANTON, Ga. - Juval and Shandrika Shreves' love story started in basic training for the United States Marine Corps (though who admired who first is up for debate).
Flash forward ten years and two children later, the Marine Corps veterans toured their new home in Canton.
With smiles stretching from ear to ear, the family walked through the property in utter shock by the $200,000-plus gift from Operation Homefront and Meritage Homes.
"Too the Shreves family, you are going to live in one of the best homes in Atlanta," said Clint Szubinski with Meritage Homes, to a crowd of several dozen people. It's a reality that's still setting in for the former small arms technicians.
"Just giving someone a house is unimaginable," said Juval Shreves. "You would never think someone would you give you a free house, and being a veteran, for them to go out of their way to do that for veterans is just remarkable."
The program, Homes on the Homefront, recognizes how difficult transitioning into the civilian world can be for military families and tries to ease that financial burden...not just on Veteran's Day but year round, assisting more than 600 families with permanent housing to date.
On top of getting the keys to the mortgage free home, the family will also work with financial counselors to help build up savings and reduce debt.
"This is not just giving them a home and giving them a deed," said John Pray, Operation Homefront president. "We have a process by which we watch that family for two years, and we help them understand all the different challenges that they're going to face as homeowners."
With great gratitude, not a single detail went unnoticed on Towne Mill Avenue. From the dryer sheets to the pictures and energy efficient lighting, the Shreves family soaked it all in.
When asked how the new home compares to their old place, the couple burst into laughter.
"Its's amazing," smiled Shandrika Shreves, describing it as infinitely better than all of their previous residences.
You can learn more about Operation Homefront's mission and services here.