Operation Finally Home gives hope for the holidays


Ian Rook says the realization that the home is so close to being finished, it’s nearly indescribable. Operation Finally Home along with Biggerstaff Homes and the San Angelo Home Builders Association teamed up to provide the mortgage free home to the veteran and his family.

Now, the studs of the home are in place, and the family came out to read the notes of love left by their new community. U.S. Army private first class Ian Rook performed a variety of jobs during his Afghanistan deployment including rifleman, driver and brigade radio operator. A late-night walk on the airfield near base changed his life when they came under rocket fire. Rook ended up with a broken back and injured hips which weren’t detected until he returned home, along with suffering from PTSD and nerve damage.

Tuesday afternoon the family came out to read the notes of love left by their new community.
Rook talked about the surprise that the family got months after they were nominated for the program. “We were going to the rodeo,” Rook said. “February of last year, they surprised us in front of everybody to tell us that we were selected for operation finally home.”

Michael Biggerstaff, a local builder who has helped with operation finally home before, says he is happy to have a helping hand, in giving the family their new forever home. The home, the third Operation Finally Home has made in San Angelo and their 151st overall, is expected to be complete by spring 2019. Ian Rook said he was overwhelmed by the support of the community, and his children have already picked out their rooms.

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