Veteran gets new, mortgage-free home in Riverview - FOX 13 News

Veteran gets new, mortgage-free home in Riverview

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A real American hero is spending his first night in a beautiful new home in Riverview.

Staff Sergeant Mario Pinilla and his family were given the keys today.

It's mortgage-free, thanks to Pulte Group and Operation Finally Home.

To say it's well-deserved is an understatement.

Sgt. Pinilla enlisted after the September 11th attacks. He was injured three different times during his service.

In 2008 in Afghanistan, his unit came under enemy fire. He ran into an open field to a soldier hit by bullets to cover him and save his life.

Pinilla was shot in the back and the leg, and he has had a long road to recovery.

He says this home feels like a reward.

"I was expecting an empty home, and then as soon as they opened the door, I was like ‘oh, whose stuff is this?’ Because this is supposed to be my house, and I see all these things that probably belong to someone else. But now they belong to me, so it's a great feeling," he said.

Pinilla has received several commendations, including two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.

His kids said today felt like Christmas.


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