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Built to Honor: Surprising a Veteran with a Beautiful Mortgage-Free Home

Appleby family cutting the red ribbon in front of their new home donated by PulteGroup's Built to Honor program

Every day at MHM Professional Staging, we get to turn empty houses into beautiful homes. It’s not every day, however, that we get to put our skills to work for a heroic cause. When PulteGroup invited us to prepare a home for their Built to Honor program, we jumped at the opportunity.

U.S. Sergeant Howard Appleby and his family were the recipients of the beautiful home we recently staged in the Babcock Ranch community of Southwest Florida. Just five months earlier, the family was shocked to discover that they would be the recipients of a mortgage-free home through PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program in partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME. In less than six months, PulteGroup delivered a stunning new house for the veteran and his family, and our professional staging and design teams made sure that the Appleby’s first impression of their new home would be one to remember.

Watch the video of the Appleby’s homecoming celebration »

About U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby

U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby joined the military in 2004 as a combat engineer initially stationed in Fort Irwin, California. One month after basic training, Howard deployed to Afghanistan and was responsible for conducting route reconnaissance, clearance, and security operations during the height of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat.

After multiple encounters with IEDs, Howard was diagnosed with cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury, PTSD, myofascial pain syndrome and migraines. For his service, Appleby received several awards including three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Badge, and many more.

About Built to Honor

In partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME, the Built to Honor program provides mortgage-free homes to returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to select veteran candidates across the country. In the last 5 years, Built to Honor has delivered homes to 50 veterans and their families as they transition out of the military and into a new phase of their lives. As a top homebuilder, providing a home is the best way for PulteGroup to give back to the nation’s service members.

Giving Back Through Home Staging

MHM Professional Staging is proud to participate in programs like Built to Honor, which recognize the courageous acts and sacrifices of our veterans. Donating our staging and design services is one of the many ways in which we give back to our community. Visit our Philanthropy page to learn more.

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