A distant dream became a reality Wednesday as disabled Army veteran Michael Slider and his family received the keys to their new home in Lake Havasu City.

Slider and his family smiled wide as they received the keys from representatives of the nonprofit organization Operation Homefront and other community organizations that partnered to provide the family with a mortgage-free home.

“I’m so excited. It is truly a blessing to be selected to receive the keys to a new place in a city that we really wanted to live in as well. It’s great,” Slider said.

Slider and his family first saw their new home on Tanglewood Drive in a short ceremony with representatives from Homefront, the Marine Corps League of Lake Havasu City, and Chase Bank, who made the donation possible.

“I want this to be my room,” said Teagan Slider, Michael Slider’s daughter, as she walked into the home for the first time.

Slider has battled a back injury that he received while in the Army, and has been in and out of surgery. Slider’s wife, Rachel, decided to reach out for help when they found themselves struggling financially. The family sought assistance through the Wounded Warrior project, a program for struggling veterans. In the course of exploring their assistance options, a military advocacy group told them about the Operation Homefront website.

On the organization’s website, Rachel Slider found the Homefront program donates homes that are mortgage free to veterans or currently serving military members and their families. The houses are donated by Chase Bank, which works with the organization to provide homes to these families.

“ I’m in complete shock and very happy that the organization allowed us to receive this home, especially in Lake Havasu City,” Rachel Slider said. “Everyone here has been very welcoming today.”

Jason Moody, public relations specialist for Operation Homefront said they are always looking to help a veteran with housing needs.

“We have an application available to veterans and current military members online. They have to fill out the application and also tell the organization about their story,” Moody said. “A caseworker is then assigned to make sure they complete the goals in the program.”

For more information, see the sidebar.

Grace Lee, the caseworker assigned to the Slider family, will assist with the move as well as provide assistance and guidance to help the family reach their financial goals.

“Even though the home is mortgage-free, they are still responsible for maintaining the home and paying property taxes,” said Lee.

Stan Elliot, retired veteran and Marine Corps League of Lake Havasu member, was also present Wednesday morning.

“I am a retired vet and I came down here to support the event,” he said. “I, along with other members of the Marine Corps Assistance League, will be volunteering to help the family with the move this weekend.”

The Slider family is set to move in Saturday.

For more information visit www.homesonthehomefront.org.

You may contact the reporter at jcruz@havasunews.com.

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