GREENSBORO, NC – if you're lucky, you'll get to experience the feeling of getting the key to your brand new house. For Army Staff Sergeant Sharon Clark, that feeling came after 16 years in the service.
Tears rolled down Clark's face as volunteers working on the home erupted into applause, thanking her for her service.
Clark, a single mother of two will soon call the house- her first-ever home.
“I live downtown now. I have PTSD and sometimes I’m afraid to come out the house,” Clark explained.
Single Mom Veteran Gets New Home
The new home- is more than a place to keep her belongings. It’s a place signifying peace and belonging; a place that lets her know the world hasn't forgotten her.
“That’s what brought tears to my eyes because with us being military we have been through a lot that people don’t see inside of us and to see the community come together and help that’s what made it amazing and awesome,” Clark said.
The house, built by nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes (BHH), customized the home to suit Clark’s needs. As a veteran living with PTSD, the organization brought in landscapers to ensure the backyard was filled with serenity, with colorful flowers and plants, a high wooden fence and fire pit. Clark's future place is equipped with state of the art security systems. The soldier also suffers with lumbar degenerative disc disease. The home includes wider doors and windows to support her movements.
“I’ve been doing this for 11 years, “ said BHH President and Founder, Andy Pugol. “I’ve never taken a single penny and there’s really nothing I would rather do in life.”
“They’ve given everything to us. If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t have the country we have. It’s a little more heartfelt and we’re probably putting more into this job than we do a lot of the other jobs we do,” said Ricky McIntyre, owner of Carolina Creations Landscaping.
Clark examined the backyard, the only part of the home she's allowed to see before move-in day. With her 17-year-old daughter, Ketara Womack, the two playfully giggled as they imagined how they would spend their time.
Clark never let go of her daughter’s hand.*
“She’s my rock,” said Clark.
Clark has a second child, her son, Marquise, currently attending college.
"They are both my rocks. They keep me calm."
Womack laughed walking around the backyard, but fell silent when the news cameras were on.
“She used to cry when I left,” said Clark.
Womack whispered, “That’s the reason I’m not saying nothing.”
“Cause you don’t want to cry?” her mom asked
“Yes!’ Womack laughed.
As the two thanked the multiple people volunteering their time, Clark said she already knew the first thing she wanted to do after she turned the key and walked into her home.
“I want to cook! I want to cook. I love cooking. I’m not a chef but I love cooking.”
And before the two walked back to their car, Womack finally found something she wanted to say about what her mother meant to her.
All the work and equipment was donated by CCL, BHH, Advacne Auto Parts and GE Silicone II. Clark’s home is one of 36 built along the coast for veterans in 2016 by BHH. Clark's anticipated move in date is November 5, 2016.