HORIZON CITY, Texas -- Nine years ago Marine Lance Corp. Norberto Mendez-Hernandez gave his life for our country battling insurgents in Afghanistan.
His wife and two children he left behind have been trying to find a way to go on without their hero.
“There's no book on how to do this properly. So having to explain to them when they are three that their dad is no longer coming home anymore. It's hard, it hurts," said widow Lorena Mendez.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Carefree Homes have made that process a little easier.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in memory of Stephen Siller. An NYC firefighter who on his time off ditched a planned golfing day with his three brothers and rushed to the World Trade Center after the first tower was hit.
The Brooklyn tunnel was closed so Siller parked his vehicle, grabbed 60 pound of gear and ran two miles to the devastation, never to return.
The foundation in his name goes around the country and buys new homes for families who have lost loved ones in the military, first responders who have fallen and veterans who received catastrophic injuries.
Andrew McClure with Tunnel to Towers believes that "any family who has lost a dad, a husband, a wife, a loved one serving our country, they need to be taken care of.”
Well, that they did.
The two groups came together and gave a brand new home to the Mendez family.
Lorena Mendez believes her husband is smiling down on them right now.
“A mortgage free home definitely gives us peace of mind and I know he’s definitely very excited for us,” she said.