Messages of encouragement, thanks and even a “You are beautiful” were just some of the “Notes of Love” people wrote on wall studs, concrete and posts of a new, mortgage-free home being built for U.S. Army SFC Demitra Jarrett through the Operation FINALLY HOME program.
About 75 visited the home — being built by Coventry Homes in the Woodforest master-planned community — on July 14 to write their notes before the home is sheetrocked this week. Jarrett was there with her son Trey and other family members from Little Rock, Ark., and Orlando, Fla., to read the notes of appreciation left by fellow veterans, Montgomery Fire Department firemen, Coventry employees, Woodforest residents and other supporters who showed up.
“Demitra kept saying she was overwhelmed about the home and the kind notes people left,” said James Kotzur, Houston Division President for Coventry Homes. “She was so excited about her huge walk-in closet and got emotional walking into her bedroom for the first time. It is gratifying seeing her reaction and realizing what an impact you are making on someone’s life.”
Among the many messages, one visitor wrote, “You are beautiful” on the ground in chalk where her master bath vanity will be installed.
“I pointed it out to Demitra and told her that every time she looks in the mirror, she should remember that those words are on the ground beneath the flooring,” said Lee Kirgan, Operation FINALLY HOME Vice President of Construction and Project Manager for the home.
The one-story, 2,456-square-foot home is expected to be complete in about six weeks. It has several customizations for Jarrett and her family, including two master suites connected via closets — one suite for her and the second for her mother, who helps care for Jarrett. There will be an automated doggie door for Jarrett’s dog, Bootsy, and the kitchen will have two sinks, including one that is wheelchair-accessible.
Jarrett served two years in the Army Reserve before going on active duty in 2002. She has been deployed overseas multiple times — including twice to Iraq and once to Kuwait — and suffered serious injuries during her first deployment in 2003. After being diagnosed with lupus, Jarrett returned to duty in 2005. In 2012, she was accepted into Army Officer Candidate School (OCS), but was unable to attend due to her deteriorating condition. She served as a squad leader and platoon sergeant for the Fort Belvoir Wounded Warrior Battalion before she medically retired from the Army in 2013. Jarrett has earned a multitude of awards during her time in the Army, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and many more.
Today, Jarrett suffers from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Operation FINALLY HOME was founded in 2005 by Texas custom homebuilder Dan Wallrath. Today, Operation FINALLY HOME has more than 200 homes in 33 states that have either been completed, are under construction or are currently in the planning stage. This is Coventry Homes’ second partnership with Operation FINALLY HOME. Woodforest developer Johnson Development also partnered previously with the organization on several projects.
Learn more about Operation FINALLY HOME at www.operationfinallyhome.org and about Coventry Homes at www.coventryhomes.com. Details about Woodforest can be found at www.woodforest.com.