KETR

Greenville vet to receive new home

Jun 22, 2016

Ground is scheduled to be broken this morning on a new, mortgage-free home to be built for a local veteran.

The national nonprofit organization Operation FINALLY HOME and local organizations surprised U.S. Army First Sgt. Guillermo Rivas during the May 28 Texas Rangers game at Globe Life Park to  with the announcement that he and his family will receive the home courtesy of Operation FINALLY HOME, Altura Homes and sponsors Dallas Builders Association, and Family of 3 – A Robert Griffin III Foundation.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. at 503 Casie Court in the Gabe Estates addition.

Rivas joined the Army National Guard in September 1986, and later joined the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1993. During his 26-year military career, Rivas served various roles, including a machine gunner, rifle team leader and military instructor.

Rivas served on a number of deployments, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Shield and Storm in Kuwait.

In 2005, Rivas suffered his first serious injury when he fell into a hole during a night patrol and twisted his lower back. In 2009, he sustained another back injury while jumping off a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV). Rivas has had several back surgeries over the years and also suffers from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), knee and shoulder injuries, tinnitus and headaches.

Rivas received several accolades including a Purple Heart, four Meritorious Service Medals, a Navy/Marine Combat Action Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal and many more. Rivas retired in October 2014, when his injuries prevented him from continuing his military career.