Veterans receive mortgage-free home

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Wells Fargo and Operation Homefront worked together to provide a place to call home for a couple who both served in the Army.

Nathan Irvine says, "I grew up here in Rapid, so it was nice to be able to come home after the military and have a house that's here in Rapid is a huge blessing."

Nathan and wife Cathlin both served in the Army for five years, and being able to put roots down in Nathan's hometown is exciting.

But also excited to be a part of the program is Wells Fargo, which has donated more than 200 homes to veterans, but what makes this one special is it's the first in South Dakota.

Wells Fargo Marketing President Steve Conzet says, "It's a great way for us as team members at Wells Fargo to give back to the community, especially to members of the military. They do so much to protect us. It's a great feeling to be a part of it."

Wells Fargo teamed with Operation Homefront, working together for the last few years to make donations like these possible.

Operation Homefront Housing Case Worker Amilee Santos says, "They've sacrificed so much, so it's really rewarding to be someone that shows them that people do care and people do want to support them."

The Irvine's have been waiting for a little over a year to hear a home was ready for them.

Irvine says, "To finally have that come to pretty much a close is a big relief, and at the same time. It's a new house. It's a new place to call our own."

And what they look forward to most is having a fenced–in backyard for their dogs, including service dog Ursa that Cathlin trained on her own, and making the home their own.

Cathlin Irvine says, "Just really happy to have a home and be able to let our dogs be able to run free and play and not on a leash.
Making the house how we want it rather than having to keep it the way the landlord left it."

Nathan and Cathlin have both returned to school, Nathan to be a mechanic and Cathlin for computer security and forensics.