Following more than 10 years of service to the nation, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Zurn and his family received a custom-built home Thursday in Ohio to call their own.

The house was built through a joint effort with the Home Builders Association of Dayton, JM Dungan Custom Homes, and Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit that builds houses for disabled veterans or widows of soldiers who gave their lives in combat, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Welcome home, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Zurn! This week we joined JM Dungan Custom Homes and @hbadayton to hand over the keys to the Zurn family. We originally surprised them with the news last year at a @DaytonFlyers @DaytonMBB game!

— OperationFINALLYHOME (@OpFINALLYHOME) April 30, 2021

“Last year, he and his wife, Brittany, were surprised at a University of Dayton Flyers basketball game during halftime with the news that they were selected to receive the new custom, mortgage-free home in Vandalia,” the newspaper said.

The Operation Finally Home website detailed Zurn’s time in the service:

Aaron began his service with two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine Corps Rifleman. On his first deployment to Fallujah, Aaron witnessed a fellow Marine killed by a rocket-propelled grenade within 10 minutes of arrival. That introduction, and the fierce fighting the Marines faced in Fallujah, still impact his life today. In 2010, Aaron sought a new challenge and reenlisted as a “jump qualified” Marine Special Operations Forces (MARSOF) operator.

Aaron deployed twice with MARSOF, and his company was frequently exposed to heavy enemy fire, ambush and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). During his final deployment, Aaron fell out of a helicopter and was knocked unconscious, resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After a total of four deployments, he medically retired in 2016.

Zurn also suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bilateral hearing loss, and knee injuries.

“It just means so much to us to come here and have this home that’s built perfectly for us. This is everything we could’ve ever wanted in a home and it’s so specific to who our family is,” Brittany commented.

Eric Farrell, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Dayton, said a house provides a sense of safety and security especially in light of the past year, adding, “The smiles on the kids’ faces, the smiles on the Zurn family, you can’t replicate that.”

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