Marine returns to find neighbors rallied to remodel his home

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 18:19:43-04

SACRAMENTO, Cal. (KTXL) — After two decades serving his country overseas in Japan, one Marine got the welcome home surprise of his life.

His entire home was remodeled – without him knowing about it, reported our affiliates KTXL. 

“If I had 21 more years to give, I would, because I love this country,” Marine Corps Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo said.

The last time Bernardo saw his Suisun City home, it had a dying lawn in the back and was in desperate need of a paint job

But all of that changed due in large part to Bernardo’s friend Jeremy Epperson.

“You know I didn’t want Jac, who had spent 21 years in Japan to spend all his savings on fixing up a house, in their first house that they ever purchased,” Epperson told KTXL.

Epperson served with Bernardo 15 years ago and said he understand how tough the transition back into civilian life can be.


“I knew he was going to have a lot on his plate going from 21 years in the corps to going to work at Comcast in two weeks,” Epperson said.

So before Bernardo came back from his post in Okinawa, Epperson rallied local and national businesses to chip in with the costs; it was a cause many got behind.

But after a long career serving this country, Bernardo remains modest.

“Those that didn’t make it. Those that got injured, or didn’t come back in one piece. I think they deserve it more than I do,” Bernardo said.

Click over to KTXL to continue reading and find out how Bernardo will spend the money instead.