Veteran: Aaron, Air Force National Guard

Work completed: Replacement of HVAC; repairs to interior walls, ceilings and floors; construction of egress window

Aaron served in the Air Force National Guard as a services craftsman, with a unique range of duties that included food service, mortuary affairs, fitness, and ensuring the general morale and welfare of the troops. Once Aaron was brought on active duty, he served full time in mortuary affairs, working with the deceased in Iraq. He was also stationed in Kosovo, where he helped run the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center for troops stationed there. Later, at Offutt Air Force Base just outside of Omaha, Aaron was designated as the sports director for the base, managing and overseeing volleyball, soccer, flag football and basketball. 

Aaron says his later years in the service were an uphill battle, and he now suffers from PTSD. Still, he says he cherishes his time in the service.

“If I could go back, I would do everything the same,” Aaron says. “I was in there for 10 years before I retired, and I would do it all over again.”

He has been married to Nikia for 16 years, and they have four children ranging in age from 7 to 16. The family has lived in their current home for 10 years, and it has started to suffer some wear and tear. The old air-conditioning and heating units desperately needed to be replaced, and interior walls, ceilings and floors needed to be repaired.

The Veterans Affairs office in Omaha pointed Aaron to his local Habitat organization, which partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to make Aaron’s home something his family can enjoy long into the future. Volunteers made minor repairs to the inside of the home and replaced the heating and air-conditioning units that were causing Aaron a lot of stress. Crucially, Habitat helped Aaron build an egress window in the basement. Aaron sleeps in the basement because of his service-related PTSD, and it was important to him to have a small window in his private, safe space.

The family enjoys the repairs,” Aaron says. “They really put a smile on everyone’s face. This has always been my home, but I now believe this is my forever home. The simple repairs and what Habitat did for me will stay for a lifetime.”