Tilson Homes
Sep 4, 2020

U.S. Marine Veteran and Family Celebrate New Mortgage-Free Home with Surprise and Special Groundbreaking Ceremony

Operation Finally Home - Friesen Family, Tilson News

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Shawn Friesen and his family were surprised with the news they will be receiving a mortgage-free home in League City, Texas, during a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd. Operation FINALLY HOME, Tilson Homes, Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) and Jan Duncan have partnered on the project which is scheduled to begin within the next few days.

Later that afternoon, Operation FINALLY HOME and Tilson Homes joined Shawn and his family at the homesite to celebrate during a groundbreaking ceremony in the Tuscan Lakes community. Community members welcomed Shawn and his family to their new neighborhood during the small, socially-distanced event.

The Friesen family joined the scheduled Zoom meeting thinking they were taking part in the interview process with Operation FINALLY HOME and Tilson Homes. The family was overjoyed when they found out they were already selected to receive a new mortgage-free, custom-built home in League City. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented our organization with unique challenges,” said Dan Wallrath, Founder of Operation FINALLY HOME. “It brought our team great joy to be able to connect with the Friesen family virtually, to surprise them with the news they’ve been selected to receive a mortgage-free home, and then in-person for a small groundbreaking ceremony at their future homesite.”

Operation FINALLY HOME and Tilson Homes have been working together for many years – the Friesen project will be the fifth home they have built together. The Friesen home will be built in Tuscan Lakes, a Johnson Development community.

About U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Shawn Friesen 

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Shawn Friesen has always felt a strong sense of pride for his country, which led him to enlist in the Marines in 2003 after high school graduation. Friesen was deployed to the Middle East a total of five times during his more than 12 years of service. While leading a team of 25 Marines in Iraq in 2010, Friesen was in an armored vehicle that struck six IEDs. Following the blasts, Friesen was sweeping for additional explosives when a nearby vehicle was struck, leaving him severely wounded. Having suffered multiple concussions, Friesen was evacuated by air to a hospital in Afghanistan. Despite his injuries, Friesen continued serving until he completed his service in 2016. After being exposed to many IED blasts, Friesen suffers from PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) causing confusion, anxiety, equilibrium problems and more. He received many accolades including Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat V, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two Combat Action Ribbons and many more. After his honorable discharge, Friesen obtained his commercial driver’s license and works evening hours, which helps his PTSD. He and his wife, Rebecca, currently live in League City, Texas, with their three children.

About Tilson Homes

Tilson Homes is a family-owned and operated company founded in 1932. Tilson Homes is an on your land custom homebuilder operating exclusively in Texas. Tilson Homes builds primarily in rural areas and currently serves over 130 counties throughout the state. Tilson has 11 design centers with models located near the Houston, Bryan/College Station, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth metro areas. Tilson customers can bring in their own home plan or choose from over 40 different home plans they can change to suit their needs. For more information on Tilson Homes, visit www.TilsonHomes.com, follow @tilsonhomes on Instagram, and find us on Facebook.

About Jan Duncan

Jan Duncan’s greatest joy comes from giving of herself so that people can experience God’s love for them. Jan, her late husband Dan, and their family have worked to aid those who are suffering by helping to establish the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, the Dan Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment at M.D. Anderson, and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Jan serves on the boards of Texas Children’s Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A dedicated advocate for the unborn, she cares deeply about honoring and preserving the sanctity of all human life. Jan’s life purpose— “Love in Action”— is reflected in her ongoing support for women and children, military veterans and their families, Christian charities, and companion animals.

About Greater Houston Builders Association 

The Greater Houston Builders Association, chartered in 1941, is a trade organization whose members are involved in the development, homebuilding and remodeling industries in 11 counties in the Houston area. The association currently has over 1700-member companies, is the 4th largest builders association in the country and the largest in Texas. GHBA is the voice of Houston’s residential construction industry, serving their members and the community through education and advocating professionalism and quality housing. The association also interacts with the government, community and general public to enhance the business climate for its members and to provide quality obtainable housing to the community it serves. The association is also active in community outreach and charitable events.

About Operation FINALLY HOME

Based in New Braunfels, Texas, Operation FINALLY HOME was established in 2005 as a nonpartisan/nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to provide homes and home modifications to America’s military heroes, first responders and widows of the fallen. In 2020, Operation FINALLY HOME is celebrating 15 years honoring heroes with homes, and recently launched its 200th project. Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, remodelers, developers, individual contributors and volunteers to help these heroes and their families by addressing one of their most pressing needs – a place to call home. For more information about Operation FINALLY HOME, visit OperationFINALLYHOME.org, follow @OpFINALLYHOME on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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