POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 5:04pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 9:40am
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — An injured Iraq Veteran has a new home to return to.
Eric Horton and his family took the keys to a four-bedroom McAllen home Wednesday. It was donated by Bank America to an organization that finds deserving families.
Horton was in the Marine Corps for seven years. He had several tours of duty in Iraq before an honorable discharge that came after he suffered a traumatic brain injury.
"What I did for the country, that's something I always wanted to do," Horton said of his military service. "When I first joined the military, staring in the barracks room, I would never have thought that this would ever happen. I think, you know, you serve, that's it."
Horton will live at the home with his wife Adriana and their two-year-old son Deshawn.
The North Carolina native moved to the Valley a few years ago and will live nearby his best friend and former roommate in the Marines.
"Seeing him as happy as he is, means a lot of joy and fulfillment into me," said Oved Gonzalez, a former roommate of Horton's in the Marines. "Just to see his smile, he finally has a place of his own, he has a family, a child, it's just an amazing situation."
Horton should be happy his friend watched out for him in Iraq.
As they both guarded their camp one night as fellow Marines slept, a vehicle approached and fired several rounds in their direction.
"(Gonzalez) saw the guy before he ever took the shot, he threw me down on the ground.... And the bullet hit the wall right behind where I was sitting at," Horton said. "If it wasn't for (him), I wouldn't be here."
Horton is now going to school, studying electrical engineering. He says he will start moving into the home on Thursday.