DALTON, Ga. — Bradley Ramirez never asked for help getting a new home, but thanks to the generosity of many people he is going to get one anyway.
Nancy Green, a home mortgage consultant with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, said she couldn’t imagine coming back after serving nearly nine years in the Marine Corps and two deployments in Afghanistan to a home that was uninhabitable. But that’s what happened to Ramirez, 30, and his family last November.
“When we first got back, we didn’t know how damaged the house (on Avenue C in Dalton) was,” Ramirez said. “I started doing a little bit of work and noticed the floors were gone.”
Ramirez graduated from Phoenix High School in 2007 and soon entered the Marine Corps where he remained until 2015. His family, which includes wife Argelia and three children, Bradley, 12, Callie, 10 and Gracie, 7, traveled with him except for when he was deployed to Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t get over what he had done for our country and came back to find his home deteriorated,” said Green.
In May, Green started a project to help raise funds to build a new home for the Ramirez family at the site of the current home.
The two met when Ramirez went to Green for help to refinance his home for renovations.
“He showed me pictures and told me what was going on with the house,” she said.
Green said seeing the pictures “completely broke my heart.”
The main problem was that the floors were completely gone.
“Here he is serving our country and he came back and couldn’t live in his house,” she said.
Green said she had to do something to help the Ramirez family.
Green started making phone calls to get people on board with helping the family. She said Habitat for Humanity officials agreed to provide floor plans and go through blueprints with a contractor. And Johns Lumber agreed to provide lumber at cost.
“I have the house getting torn down and hauled off at no cost and the backing of the American Legion so we could have a 501(c)(3) (designation) for people to donate and get the tax benefits they need,” she said.
Green said she is now looking for funding. The old house will be torn down and a new one built in its place.
“It’s going to cost around $75,000,” she said. “It’s not too big of a goal and anything left over I think we would put back on his current loan or buy them some new furniture.”
Green said some private individuals will donate financially.
Lee Oliver, American Legion Post 112’s commander, said their main purpose is to help veterans.
“We thought it was a worthwhile situation,” he said. “Bradley seems to be an upstanding young man.”
Ramirez said he was in shock when he found out what Green was planning.
“We weren’t really in the mix until they started telling us what they were going to do,” he said. “When I told my wife, we couldn’t believe it was happening. It still feels like a dream. We didn’t really think there were still people out here like that.”
Ramirez said they never asked for help.
“We originally went to the bank and asked for a loan, but because I wasn’t working I was disqualified,” he said.
Ramirez is now working part time and attending Georgia Northwestern Technical College for business management.
“We didn’t expect any of it,” Argelia Ramirez said. “When he told me I almost cried, it’s just something we didn’t expect.”
She said it’s a kind gesture from strangers.
“It’s something we don’t see very much of anymore, it’s going to be a really big help,” she said.
Green said the public can help by donating their services.
“If they are a certified plumber, electrician or anything like that we are obviously looking for them to donate time,” she said. “We definitely need funds to get it off the ground and going.”
Donations can be mailed to American Legion Post 112, P.O. Box 932, Dalton, GA 30722. All checks should include Project Avenue C in the memo line.
For more information, call Green at (256) 990-2448 or the American Legion at (706) 226-5120.
Bradley Ramirez said his family is “very grateful” for all the help. “I almost left school to get a full-time job to start raising money for the house,” he said.
He said Green and his wife have motivated him.
Of Green, he said, “She set it all up, she’s a special woman.”