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Killeen veteran gets surprised with a $10,000 Home Depot gift card

The Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity worked with with Home Depot Foundation and HBI to help a veteran having rough year.

KILLEEN, Texas — Army veteran Dezba Terry received a surprise of a lifetime: A $10,000 gift card after her house suffered damage from Winter Storm Uri.

Terry has served in Iraq, Germany and multiple posts across the nation. She got out in 2010 and lives in Killeen. 

When she needed help with home repairs, Terry was able to get help from Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity. On Thursday, that organization partnered with several others to make sure Terry was also ready for repairs in the future. 

When the Winter Storm Uri hit the area in February, Terry said, it caused significant damage to her home. Pipes froze, water started to leak though the room, cabinets got soaked and started to fall apart and mold appeared in the bathroom. Terry said the damage was so bad, she could no longer use her sink.  

"Being a single parent I cook at home a lot. I was like, 'ok, I don't even know what to do now'. Not to be able to wash you dishes in the sink. Not be able to prep a meal," Terry said. 

Terry said she had several companies come out and do estimates, but was told repeatedly that they had a lot of work and would take a long time to get to her. When she did finally pick a contractor, Terry said the contractor didn't show up to do the work. 

"I was almost going to give up," Terry said. 

Terry volunteered with veteran nonprofit Bring Everyone In The Zone, and some of the other volunteers suggested she call the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity. Terry was able to qualify for their Critical Repair Program and another veteran, who had gone though a local residential construction program was able to start fixing a lot of the problems. 

"I was impressed by all the work he did. It made me feel better about my home and we even talked about the time we served in the military. I felt comfortable in that environment," Terry said. 

The veteran who repaired the home went though a program with the The Home Builder's Institute (HBI), which has a location in Killeen.  

On Thursday, Terry met with other veterans currently attending HBI to share her story. 

Little did she know, Fort Hood Habitat for Humanity had worked with HBI and the Home Deport Foundation to surprise her with a $10,000 gift card to cover future repairs. The Home Deport Foundation absorbed the cost of the card. Multiple hugs later, Terry was still overwhelmed, but optimistic about the future. 

"Wow. This is really going to be very helpful to me and my kids. We've been down a long road this year," Terry said. "This is amazing."  

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