Ignacius Flemister says when he signed up to be part of the U.S. Navy, he had no idea he’d have an opportunity to have a house in his name, mortgage free.
It’s one family’s piece of paradise.
Flemister and his wife and kids have a place they can call home for good.
"The word happy is an understatement," Ignacius says.
He isn’t a man of many words. Neither are his wife, Siah, or his son, Nelson. His daughter Shiloh says enough.
After moving all around the world, the Flemisters have a house in Macon. The California based non-profit VAREP, or Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, helped make it happen.
"First of all, I love the community. I love the people. We were welcomed here warmly. Secondly, it’s more relaxing and it’s a better place to raise a kid. There’s not too many distractions," Ignacius says.
They partner with Bank of America to give thousands of families a key to rehabilitated home.
"I think to date we’ve given about 1900 homes to service people. Hopefully, we’ll continue. I think we’re going to continue this into the future," Whit Evans, a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch’s Macon branch says.
"A home to call your own mortgage free. It means more than the world. It’s very appreciated," Siah says.
Representatives say the pleasure is theirs for the time servicemen and women sacrifice for the country.
"The main thing that I want to express is our gratitude for him and his family and everything that they’ve been through. Without folks like that I don’t think any of us would be here today," says Evans.
The Flemisters are excited and ready to start the next chapter of the rest of their lives.
"Pop a bottle of champagne in there," Siah says.
Bank of America started the program three years ago. Once the Flemisters settle in, Ignacius says they’re going to work on the backyard and make their own space to relax.