Ralph Dennis / Photo
Sgt. Matthew Hutcheson, wife Leslie and their daughters at their new home in Laurel Lakes. They were given the home through Operation Finally Home.
By Ralph O. Dennis
Finally home! That is what Sgt. Matthew Hutcheson, wife Leslie and their daughters were saying Friday (January 29). The final step of their journey began with the ground breaking for their new home in September, 2015. The home is in Laurel Lakes subdivision in Nelson.
The final step was the presentation and ribbon cutting. The ceremony took place with approximately 75 friends, family, the press and the new neighbors in attendance. The Hutcheson family arrived escorted by fire engines and police cars with lights flashing. American flags lined the driveway manned by members of T.A.P.S. (True American Patriots Serving the USA) from the Jasper chapter. Those in attendance were welcomed by Operation Finally Home Executive Director Randy Carroll. True to a ceremony honoring a former U. S. military member, the National Anthem and an invocation followed the welcome.
Following brief comments from Larry Ray (Mayor of Nelson), Paul Feldman (President of Laurel Lakes Homeowner’s Association) and Christa Bryant (Southern Living Magazine), Sgt. Hutcheson was called up to speak.
Normally, “Hutch” is not at a loss for words but today he was filled with emotion, as he should be, and could only muster a heartfelt thank you. You could also see the joy and pride in the faces of Leslie and the girls.
The ribbon was cut! The family then entered their completely furnished home- all they needed was their clothes! Refreshments were served to those in attendance and they were then permitted to tour the home. On Saturday, January 30 the family was welcomed to the Laurel Lakes Home Owner’s Association.
Operation Finally Home provides mortgage free homes to injured/disabled military personnel. This home was built by Portico Builders with assistance from the HomeDepot Foundation, J.C.Penney, Southern Living Magazine and many others.
To the Hutcheson family, we at the Progress say, “Welcome, home!”