Soldier gets early Veterans Day surprise at football game

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by WENDY CORONA

WFAA

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 10 at 1:28 AM

CEDAR HILL -- Military veterans and November football.

It was another pre-game honor for soldier Bryan Ball Friday. There were lights, cheering fans and teams. A pre-Veterans day celebration, or so he thought.

This one had more cameras and microphones than others past. That's because this one would change his life.

The message cracked out of the stadium loudspeaker, "The gift of a fully renovated, mortgage free home in Cedar Hill."

It left the strong soldier speechless and smiling.

"Thank you very much," Ball uttered moments later.

With the help of Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF), when Ball's military retirement comes at year's end, his wife and infant daughter will be able to call the house on Magnolia Lane home.

"I knew we were in the running for it, but I didn't actually think we were gonna get it!" Ball said.

Most don't. But since March 2010, 260 homes have been given to qualified veterans in 25 states.

"To take the weight off him to provide for our family is huge for me, because I know how stressed he was about that," said Bryan's wife, Jessica Ball.

In December 2009, an IED in Afghanistan changed Bryan ball's life. Shrapnel caused him to lose half of his large intestine, a finger, and function in his right hand and wrist.

"We've been in limbo for three years now, and we now have answers and we know where we're going to be living," Mrs. Ball said.

Financial planning for three years is also included with the three-bedroom home, "to make sure they have all the financial skills to be happy and successful homeowners," according to Casey Kinser with MWSF.

Goodwill Industries provides the support for the financial planning and Chase bank donated the home.

Has the new homeowner feeling quite sunk in?

"It's like winning the lottery," Ball said. "You don't actually think you're gonna get it."

E-mail wcorona@wfaa.com

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