Community Rallies to Build a Home for Retired Dexter Air Force Veteran


Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Paulus Obey (in the middle with the red shirt) breaks ground on his new home with the help of family and supporters.

In a stirring celebration of service, courage, and community spirit, hundreds of veterans and supporters convened on Monday, May 16th, to mark a joyful milestone. A retired Air Force Master Sgt., injured in the line of duty, was ceremoniously gifted the dream of a lifetime - a brand-new home constructed with love and gratitude.

Kevin Christofferson, Division President for PulteGroup, Michigan, spoke eloquently about the company’s ongoing effort to provide homes for veterans. “It’s a way for the PulteGroup to thank the many deserving veterans for the sacrifices they've made over their lifetime and for the unending protection of our long-standing freedom.”

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Paulus Obey thanked supporters and moved the crowd with his appreciation for the United States and the people in it.

A new chapter in life is about to begin for retired Air Force Master Sgt. Paulus Obey, an immigrant from Liberia who proudly served his adopted country for 18 years. Obey, who suffered physical and mental injuries after completing over 20 perilous combat missions, is set to receive a beautiful new home courtesy of Homes for Heroes and PulteGroup.

For his service, Paulus received numerous commendations, including the Air Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal with one Device, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three Devices, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with one Device, the Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon and the Air Force Longevity Service Award with two Devices.

On a day as bright as the occasion, approximately 200 fellow veterans and supporters congregated in Thorton Farms to celebrate the groundbreaking of this new beacon of hope.

Paulus Obey will move into his new home mortgage-free. Almost all of the home was provided by donations from PulteGroup partners.

Obey moved the crowd with his heartfelt words, “You Americans will never forget the military men and women who died in combat. You will never forget the military men or women that are still trying to heal from their wounds. You will never forget those who are still serving. And we cannot forget the American patriots like you that support our freedom with generous, loving, caring hearts.”

PulteGroup, Inc., one of America's leading homebuilding companies, has rallied its expansive network of resources to make Obey's dream home a reality.

“I reached out to all of our trade partners, and I sent them a little bit of (Paulus Obey’s) story, just asking for their support,” explained Christofferson. “And I will tell you, it didn't take about a minute before those emails started to start flooding in. ‘I'm going to donate the foundation, the roof, the trusses, the siding.’ You name it. Every single vendor raised their hand passionately and could not be thankful enough for (Obey’s) service.”

Over the past decade, PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program has touched the lives of numerous military personnel injured during their service, providing mortgage-free homes and bringing warmth to veterans and their families.

Building Homes for Heroes, a non-profit organization, was established by Andy Pujol in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The organization has so far gifted over 320 homes to veterans and their families, with contributions from corporations such as Advance Auto Parts, Lowe’s, and SAIC.

In the end, it's not just a house being built for Obey, but a monument of appreciation and recognition, standing as a testament to the indomitable spirit of our veterans and the unwavering gratitude of a nation they've served so courageously.

Photos by Doug Marrin

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