When Sergeant Perry Haley was deployed in Iraq, he began to show odd symptoms. Unexplained nose bleeds and headaches plagued him. With no MRI machines in the country, military doctors had to tell Haley to tough it out.
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They gave him pain medications and kept him moving until he got home, and despite the symptoms, Haley completed his tour. Yet coming home wasn’t as glorious as he’d imagined, as he was in for a pair of nasty surprises. First, he had two brain tumors.
Second, his wife, Autumn, also had cancer. While caring for Haley, Autumn began experiencing similar, inexplicable symptoms. Knowing that parents are the support for any family, particularly one with two small children, Autumn waited to investigate her own startling nosebleeds and head pains until after Haley had surgery.
This all put incredible stress on the small family of four. Military families, particularly of active duty members, are already fraught with stresses about death and danger. Cancer added to that, and it no doubt felt like the whole world was coming down.
The couple appeared on CNN to discuss the struggle a military family faces when confronted with illness, a struggle that is all too often unseen and unsupported. And while they did survive both stressful times, they have to be applauded for speaking out and raising awareness.
And little did they know they were in for one final, happy surprise.
Reporter Brooke Baldwin had brought two representatives from Operation Finally Home to the show. Appearing on stage without warning, they told the family that Perry and Autumn were receiving a new home–totally mortgage-free.
Here’s Operation Finally Home’s mission, from their website:
Operation FINALLY HOME is a national, non-profit organization with a unique network of experienced builders, suppliers, and supporters dedicated to building homes for wounded, ill or injured veterans, surviving spouses and their families. We bring together homebuilders, the military and communities to build custom mortgage-free homes for America’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen, those who have worn America’s uniform and sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms and values, providing a strong foundation to help them move forward with their lives. It is our honor to unite all of those who respect and value the sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families.