Marines and volunteers build veteran and his family a home

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Saturday, dozens of marines and Habitat for Humanity volunteers banded together, building a home for a veteran and his family.

More than four million veterans across the country need access to affordable housing. It’s a major problem members of the military and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity are trying to address, starting with Kevin and Kathy Hughes.

“We wake up with dreams about our house and go to bed with dreams about our house,” Kathy gushed. Kevin added, “She’s already bought a credenza.”

Kevin Hughes gave 18 years of his life to the U.S. Army, and this weekend, dozens of members from each military branch worked together, building Kevin and Kathy a home of their own.

“Oh, it makes me feel wonderful,” said Kevin, with an arm around his wife. “It’s a dream that we never even thought to dream. So, it’s very touching,” Kathy said.

On that cold morning, the two watched as marines lifted and set the walls of their house, each nail bringing them one step closer to something the couple never thought possible.

“We live in a 500 square foot apartment right now. And to walk inside that thing, I think we’re going to need like an intercom system or something,” Kevin Hughes beamed.

Kevin and Kathy are one of 47,000 families in New Hanover, Pender, and Duplin counties in need of safe and affordable housing. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, the Hughes won’t be a part of that statistic in five months.

“I mean, we’re old,” admitted Mr. Hughes. “I’ll be 70 in September. And to know that my children used to worry about what they were going to do for us…. now we have our house!”

The Hughes family has already started paying this act forward, helping to build some of the 27 houses Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity is working on.

“How many people live in a neighborhood where you build your neighbor’s house?”

Hughes served others for 18 years. And now, men and women he’s never met are doing the same for him.bu

“The fact that all these people have different beliefs, they come from different places, the Marines took their time off from active duty to come down here and do this.” Hughes teared up. “I don’t know what else you can say, it’s just a blessing.”

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