Whether it is a thank you or a simple handshake there are many ways to honor those who have served our nation. A Washington veteran was honored Tuesday with something more substantial.
PASCO, WA - Whether it is a thank you or a simple handshake there are many ways to honor those who have served our nation. A Washington veteran was honored Tuesday with something more substantial.
Sergeant Charles Aikala was welcomed to his new town of Pasco in a very big way. A new home has been given to the man who served in Iraq and was nearly killed after an explosive device seriously injured him. The Aikala family will not have to even pay a mortgage as they are honored with this gift.
"Just receiving the house, it gave us a sense of ownership," explained Aikala.
"I just don't have words, but just blessings. I'm happy, I'm excited. I've got all these different emotions going on," said his wife Maggie.
Fairway Independent Mortgage along with non-profit Military Warriors Support Foundation have teamed up to present the home to the purple heart veteran. This is the twentieth home from Fairway and one of the first 600 homes in what will be 1,500 houses presented by the support foundation.
"You and I and all of us in this country have the freedom we have because of what they did for us, and this is just a very small way to say thank you," said Lieutenant General Leroy Sisco from Military Warriors Support Foundation.
A ceremony at Columbia Park made it clear that our locals respect sacrifices for our country. After he was handed the keys to his family's new home a giant line of thankful people shook hands and even hugged the newest member of our community.
When we asked Aikala if he ever imagined he would be thanked in such a large showing after choosing to serve in the Army, he just shook his head, "No I didn’t. Not at all."
Law enforcement from each of the Tri-Cities and Yakima took part in a police escort to the ceremony.
The Aikala family moved here from Tacoma. They said they have been in the Tri-Cities for a week and they already know they are going to love their new home.