Veteran surprised in Nashville with mortgage-free home

Published 12:05 pm Monday, November 16, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Tennessean
NASHVILLE (AP) — An Army veteran who survived a suicide bomber attack, endured multiple surgeries and continues to work through memory issues was surprised with a mortgage-free home by Craig Morgan’s announcement at the Grand Ole Opry.
Morgan, a country entertainer who lives in Dickson County, made the announcement during the Opry show for Sgt. Ethan LaBerge and his family.
“As we prepare to celebrate this Veterans Day, we have some exciting news for one of our veterans here in the audience tonight,” said Morgan on the Opry stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, he doesn’t know this, but I would like to introduce you all to Sgt. Ethan LaBerge and his family.
“We thank y’all so much and we thank you for your service to our country,” Morgan added. “God bless you.”
The LaBerges thought they were at the Opry as part of a special recognition series for Purple Heart recipients.
The home was made possible by Operation FINALLY HOME, a nonprofit that provides homes to America’s military veterans and the widows of veterans. Beazer Homes and Ashlar Development are also involved.
Morgan announced a mortgage-free home for the Ferguson family in 2018.
LaBerge said he followed his dream by enlisting in the Army when he turned 18. In May of 2012, LaBerge arrived at Fort Campbell and was placed in the storied unit of 1st battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was deployed twice to Afghanistan during his five years of service. It was during a mission when his platoon was leaving a meeting with a local official that a civilian detonated a suicide vest nearly 10 feet from his group. The blast resulted in two deaths and multiple casualties, and LaBerge was left in critical condition.
LaBerge, who medically retired in 2016, suffered a concussion, broken bones and shrapnel wounds. He battles PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. He has undergone 11 surgeries, and struggles with memory loss, intense pain and cognitive challenges.
LaBerge was awarded a Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, and other medals.
LaBerge and his wife Arin, who is also an Army veteran, have a young daughter and an infant son.
“It’s hard to express with words our gratitude towards Ethan and Arin LaBerge for their selfless service to our country,” said Geoff Hart, Beazer Division President, Nashville, in a statement.
Construction on the home, which will be in Mt. Juliet, will begin later this month with a groundbreaking ceremony.
A Notes of Love ceremony will take place at the end of the year.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox