Riley Oakes, a Marine Corps veteran, and his wife have already settled into their new home thanks to Operation Homefront, an organization that helps military families return to civilian life.
On Saturday, the Oakes officially got the key to their new home in Crowley through a partnership between Operation Homefront and Pillsbury.
“It’s a nice house,” Oakes said. “It’s great for our family. We have a 2-year-old, Austin, at the moment, and we have another one on the way in August.
Oakes served four years in the Marine Corps. He was discharged on medical grounds due to a rare skin condition and is currently studying to become an accountant.
“For us to be able to make a difference for our brothers and sisters in arms is an indescribable feeling,” said Candace Jules, another veteran and housing worker for the Transition House Program for veterans. “I do not get enough.”
Jules helped the Oakes family through the process of getting their new home.
They are the third military family to get help with free housing in the neighborhood.
The other families, bound by the shared sacrifice, welcomed them during the celebration.
“That military thing, whatever branch you hear,” Oakes said. “It’s part of the struggle. You kiss the sucking, that’s what it’s called. These people, I can relate to them, and I’ve never even spoken to them.”
For these military families, nothing beats home.
Operation Homefront said there are more plans in the future to connect military families with rent-free homes.