U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Randy Nantz joined the military shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, at the age of 33. He wanted to join and serve his country before he reached the maximum age limit for army enlisted recruits at 35.
A father of two young children at the time, Sgt. Nantz quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a member of the prestigious United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets, at age 39.
In 2006, his team was on a routine reconnaissance mission in Iraq when their Humvee was struck by an explosive device. Sgt. Nantz suffered third-degree burns throughout his body and nerve damage in both legs. His left leg would later be amputated.
He underwent surgery in Iraq, and was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he spent 35 days in the ICU burn unit, and underwent additional surgeries, including the amputation.
Building Homes for Heroes, a national nonprofit organization that builds and modifies homes, and gifts them mortgage-free to wounded veterans and their families, will be building a home for Sgt. Nantz in Argyle, a city in Denton County with about 3,200 residents.
Sergeant Nantz will receive a mortgage-free, ground-up home in the Harvest Community, slated for completion in 2017. The land was donated by Hillwood Communities, owned by the Perot family. It will be constructed by David Weekley Homes.
Ebby Halliday Realtors Christie Christian and Mary Ann Izzarelli, who both volunteer their time to Building Homes for Heroes, were instrumental in forming the partnership between the nonprofit organization and Hillwood Communities.
It was with the same patriotic spirit in which Sgt. Nantz enlisted in the military that Building Homes for Heroes was formed. Andy Pujol, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, was involved in the search and rescue following the Sept. 11 attacks, and vowed from that day forward to help his country the best way he could. Five years later, Building Homes for Heroes was formed.
Building Homes for heroes will soon gift its 100th home for injured veterans, and is aiming to gift one mortgage-free home every 10 days for the rest of 2016 and into 2017. To date, Pujol has never accepted a salary.
Sgt. Nantz, a Purple Heart recipient, will live in the home with his two children.