The Connerton community is honored to have been able come together with Operation FINALLY HOME and Lennar Homes to provide U.S. Army Sgt. David Roca and his family with a mortgage-free home in 2017!
U.S. Army Sgt. David Roca grew up in Queens, New York. Raised by a single mother with limited resources, Roca quickly learned that hard work and commitment to family values are the most important qualities a person can have. With dreams of serving his community and country as a police officer or firefighter, Roca enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. However, after witnessing the devastation of September 11th, he knew joining the military was the right choice. Roca enlisted in August 2004 as a 13F Forward Observer and attended basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Roca’s unit deployed to Iraq soon after he joined the military. During his deployment, he sustained several traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in combat, one of which occurred when an improvised explosive devise (IED) hit his vehicle. Despite his injuries, he always fought through to continue the mission. After returning home, Roca’s injuries prevented him from performing in physical training and he experienced mood swings and severe headaches. After thorough evaluation, Roca medically retired in December 2008. Due to his service in combat, Roca suffers from several TBIs, migraines, sprained ankles and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Roca was known for his strong work ethic and devotion to duty, exemplified by his Valor Device, an award he received for saving his Commander’s life in battle. He has also received a number of other accolades during his time in service, including an Army Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal and more.
After retiring, Roca moved his family to Long Island, where he hoped he could recover and continue his bachelor’s degree at Nassau Community College. However, he struggled with concentration and memory due to his injuries and decided to focus on his mental and physical health before continuing school. Roca and his three children have moved to Florida so he can be close to his family and have a better support system. Once he is fully recovered, his goal is to return to the workforce. Roca wants his children to know that no matter what they face in life, they can always strive for the best.
The Roca family was surprised with the news of their new home at a special groundbreaking ceremony that took place on March 3rd. The family, who lived in Orlando, FL at the time, thought they were just coming to Connerton to go through a preliminary interview process with Operation FINALLY HOME. Imagine their surprise when upon entering the community they were joined by Patriot Guard Riders who escorted them to the site of their new home where they were greeted by dozens of veterans, community leaders and even future neighbors.
A house is built of walls and beams; a home is made with love and dreams. – Anonymous.
The Dedication of the Roca Family’s home took place on Saturday, April 29th. The celebration began with a barbecue lunch presented by Mission BBQ. The entire community was invited to welcome the Roca family, along with personnel from Connerton, Lennar, Operation Finally Homes and local dignitaries. The Roca Family were escorted to the site by the Patriot Guard Riders, and a welcome program was emceed by Stew Gibbons, General Manager of Connerton. After the presentation of colors and introduction of several dignitaries, the ribbon was cut and keys presented to Sgt. Roca and his family.
The entire celebration ran in tandem with the Tampa Bay Builders Association Parade of Homes. The coordination of events allowed Parade goers and Realtors to participate in honoring this well-deserving veteran. The Connerton community and Lennar are proud to be a part of this heart-warming venture and extend a sincere welcome to the Roca Family!
Operation FINALLY HOME was established in 2005 as a nonpartisan/nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
The mission of Operation FINALLY HOME is to provide custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom and values. Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help America’s military heroes and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs—a home to call their own. To find out more, visit OperationFinallyHome.org.
As one of the nation’s leading homebuilders since 1954, Lennar has extensive experience in maximizing the quality of everything it builds. Lennar’s commitment to Quality, Value and Integrity forms the underlying foundation upon which the company was built. Lennar, which operates in 17 states and over 40 markets across the nation, believes in simplifying the home buying experience by including thousands of dollars of extras in the home price, offering a great value and the latest in luxury, technology and efficiency. The entire home buying process is simplified at Lennar, with a family of companies to help with mortgage, title and insurance needs. Lennar Tampa currently builds in 58 communities in the Tampa Bay area. www.lennartampa.com