Industry sales promotion nets mortgage-free homes for two Purple Heart veterans at Gregg-Adams Commissary

FORT GREGG-ADAMS, Va. – Two veterans were honored with mortgage-free homes for their service and sacrifice to the nation during a recognition ceremony at the Fort Gregg-Adams Commissary in Virginia, Nov. 9.

“It is an honor for the Fort Gregg-Adams Commissary to host this very special event today recognizing two very deserving honorees—former Marine Sgt. David D. Long Jr. and Army Spc. Eric Ryan Sabath. Their dedication and sacrifice to our nation epitomize this year’s Veteran’s Day theme of ‘service’,” said Fort Gregg-Adams Commissary Store Manager Leon Clark.

Long and Sabath, both Purple Heart recipients, served with distinction during combat tours in operations Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). During the recognition ceremony, the two veterans were presented mortgage-free homes from the Military Warrior Support Foundation’s Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program.

Proceeds to support the Military Warrior Support Foundation came from a sales promotion sponsored by suppliers represented by EURPAC from Sept. 11-24.  Sales promotions are an example of the millions of dollars industry suppliers and manufacturers provide to commissaries annually in giveaways and promotional events that extend the value of the benefit and enhance military quality of life, said Robert Bunch, executive director of DeCA’s Store Operations Group.

“Service members like Sergeant Long and Specialist Sabath are why we exist,” said Bunch. “It’s DeCA’s mission to deliver to all service members and their families a commissary benefit that improves their quality of life through lower grocery costs, where our patrons can save $50 on every $200 spent on groceries if they shop their local commissary.”

Long, who served as a vehicle mechanic attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, received a mortgage-free home based on his service during three combat tours in support of both operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

“Today is really a great example of coming full circle in life,” said Long, a native and current resident of Walkertown, North Carolina. “Walkertown is my hometown. I left it for the Marine Corps about 18 years ago and I found myself back there now.”

Long’s desire to serve didn’t stop once he left the Marine Corps. He recently ran for mayor of his hometown with the goal of “giving back to the town that helped mold my childhood,” he added.

Sabath, a Virginia native and resident of Richmond, served as an infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington from 2011 to 2013.  He received his mortgage-free home based on his service in combat in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“This presentation will allow me to focus on other aspects of my life,” said Sabath. “Buying and paying for a home can be pretty stressful, with this [mortgage-free] award I can start to really take a look at where I want my life to go. I also would like to continue to serve my community. I’d really like to stay connected to other veterans by helping them.”

“We understand the importance of offering guidance and support to our heroes as they transition into civilian life,” said Ken Eakes, executive director, Military Warrior Support Foundation. “Sergeant Long and Specialist Sabath are true American heroes and this ceremony is just one way we can express our heartfelt gratitude for your service, your sacrifice, and your unwavering bravery,” Eakes said.

The Military Warriors Support Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2007, began as a short-term mission to serve combat-wounded veterans, Gold Star spouses and their families. The foundation has awarded over 900 mortgage-free homes across all 50 states and provided nearly $200 million in veteran program support.


About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.


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