Sgt. Nick Hinds’ five deployments were hard on everyone. The family moved a lot, and they worried about dad. Now they’re finally getting a fresh start together, in a home that’s truly their own.

Sgt. Hinds, his wife Marianne and their children were welcomed into their new home in Las Cruces, N.M., on Aug. 30. Thomas Kilgannon (right), president of the Freedom Alliance, helped present the keys before a gathering of community supporters and U.S. Bank employees. “I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed,” said Sgt. Hinds. (below right). 

Sgt. Hinds spent 15 years in the Army and Navy. While diving for cover in Iraq, he suffered serious neck and knee injuries that linger to this day. The family applied through Freedom Alliance to receive a mortgage-free home from U.S. Bank’s H.O.M.E. program for injured veterans. (Housing Opportunities After Military Engagement.)

Their new place, with four bedrooms and a backyard to play in, feels like destiny to Marianne Hinds. Her husband recently retired, so they needed to leave military housing in Fort Campbell, Ky. At the same time, their family of five was growing to seven with the addition of a young niece and nephew, who had been living on the streets in another state.

“They really needed a forever home,” Mrs. Hinds said. “We said, ‘Okay, sure. We’re family. That’s what family is for.” They’re now in the process of adopting the children.

The kids couldn’t wait to see their rooms. Like all military families, the Hindses have moved a lot. “My daughter says all the time, ‘I just want to have the same friends and not have to say goodbye,” Mrs. Hinds says.

Sgt. Hinds’ thoughts swirl and turn dark sometimes, an effect of post traumatic stress disorder. Mrs. Hinds keeps him grounded. “I don’t venture out much unless I’m attached to my wife’s side,” he says.

The couple met 17 years ago, when he was a young sailor stationed in her hometown. Now Mrs. Hinds helps him out of the shower and gives him shots in the leg for his headaches.

“It’s really daunting for her,” he says. “This house is as much for her as it is for me.”

“We are blessed and so thankful,” says Mrs. Hinds, with Jennifer Benzel of U.S. Bank (left). “We are ready to have a home of our own.”

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Karen Gutierrez is a Cincinnati-based member of U.S. Bank's social media team. Visit U.S. Bank’s Proud to Serve website to learn more about how the bank supports veterans.

Posted: September 21, 2016