- Associated Press - Friday, May 9, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - It was an early Mother’s Day present for a retired Army National Guard sergeant.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Julie Barcheers was handed the keys to a new home Thursday. She was recently chosen to receive the mortgage-free home in Pearl River County from the Military Warrior Support Foundation and Bank of America.

Barcheers had a 20-year career in the Navy and Army National Guard. The mother of four and grandmother of 12 was wounded in Iraq in 2008 when a rocket exploded near her. Her shoulders, neck and back were injured, and she has a traumatic brain injury.

“The house is the heartbeat of a person,” Barcheers said just before she was handed the keys to her three-bedroom, two-bathroom house renovated with her in mind. “Without a house, you’re a gypsy. I see this as my heartbeat.”

Barcheers will move into the house in about a week, after her furniture is shipped from Georgia where she had been living. Her four dogs will make the move with her.

Ted Longo of Merrill Lynch said that even though there are no Bank of America branches in Mississippi, the company has committed to giving away 17 homes in the state.

Barcheers‘ new home in the Hide-A-Way Lake community in Pearl River County is one of them.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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