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Injured Marine Gets Free Home in Kettering Day Before Wedding
KETTERING -- A local marine who was injured in Iraq gets a homecoming like he's never imagined. U.S. Marine Corporal Drew Kalis and his fiance Kaitlyn Stemberski walked into their brand new, mortgage-free home with all smiles.
"Look they have pictures of us," said Stemberski. "Look, it's so cute. Aww. I don't what to look at next."
As they take a tour of their new home, they can't help but to reflect how they got here.
"Oh my gosh," said Stemberski. "I don't even know what to say, it's so overwhelming."
The Military Warriors Support Foundation and Bank of America donated this home to the couple as part of the Bank's goal to meet 1,000 military service member families and first responders who have housing needs. The bank works closely with Military Warriors Support Foundation and other nonprofit organizations that identify the home recipients and also provide related services, such as financial counseling. Originally envisioned as a three-year program when announced in August 2012, Bank of America reached its 1000th military home donation more than a year ahead of schedule. The bank will continue the program.
In 2005, Drew's unit was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device
"I got traumatic brain injury and I got PTSD. I've had two shoulder reconstructions," said Kalis.
But Friday he may be the happiest guy on earth once it sinks in.
"Getting there, I'm more shell -schocked," Kalis said.
"He's not out there screaming help me he's just saying thank you," said Director of Ohio Valley Merrill Lynch Complex Drew Lyon. "These are the things that happen. That was his role in the military protecting us. I think he's well deserving of the opportunity that Bank of America is able to provide."
"I'm so pumped, I've always wanted a sun-room. Ooh my goodness. I'm so excited," said Stemberski as she jumped up and down.
Even more exciting, the couple gets married tomorrow.
"The rehearsal dinner is tonight. Our wedding is tomorrow and then we leave for Maui on Monday. I'm going to go insane," Stemberski said.
The home has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and is 1,310 square feet. Drew and Kaitlyn plan to move in after their honeymoon.
"I can't even tell you how much it means," said Stemberski. "It's incredible. "It's more than we could ever ask for or gotten or received."
Kalis grew up in a military family and joined the Marines in 2004 with the goal of serving his country and paying for his college education. He served five years in the military and was deployed to Iraq. While in Iraq, his unit was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and he sustained significant injuries. Kalis has received many distinguished awards for his sacrifices, including the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Now that he is home, Kalis plans to complete the Paramedic program and earn a nursing degree.
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