Riley Oakes, a veteran of the Marine Corps, and his wife have already settled into their new home thanks to Operation Homefront, an organization that helps military families return to civilian life.
On Saturday, the Oakes were officially given the keys to their new home in Crowley thanks to a partnership between Operation Homefront and Pillsbury.
“It’s a beautiful house,” Oakes said. “It’s great for our family. We now have a 2-year-old, Austin, and then another one is on the way in August.
Oakes served in the Marine Corps for four years. He was medically discharged due to a rare skin disease and is now studying to become an accountant.
“It’s an indescribable feeling for us to be able to stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters in arms,” said Candace Jules, a fellow veteran and a housing worker with the Transitional Homes for Veterans Program. “I never get tired of it.”
Jules helped the Oakes family with the process of getting their new home.
They are the third military family to receive help with rent-free housing in the area.
The other families, united by common sacrifice, welcomed them to the celebration.
“This military thing, it doesn’t matter which branch you hear,” Oakes said. “It’s part of the struggle. You embrace the suck, it’s called. These people, I can deal with them, and I’ve never even spoken to them.”
For these military families there is no better place than home.
Operation Homefront said there are more plans in the future to connect military families with rent-free housing.