Virginia veteran and his family blessed with a new home for the holidays: 'I will never forget this'

Posted at 9:31 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 09:31:11-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Giving back to a military veteran who has given so much to his community and country.

With help from Virginia Credit Union and other generous groups, the CBS 6 Month of Giving blessed Lance Corporal Nick Ellis and his family.

Ellis, who was wounded while serving in Afghanistan, later served as a mentor to at-risk children.

"We always remind our veterans to breathe," Kim Valdyke, with Building Homes for Heroes, said. "They think, 'oh, we'll be fine.' And they get here and they're like [gasps]."

A parade of fire trucks, police cars, and Storm Rider escorted the family to their new Chester home.

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"If you do a home giveaway, and there is not a little bit of moisture that forms in the corner of your eyes, then you may want to check your tear ducts," Mark Elliott, with JPMorgan Chase & Co., said.

The home came furnished thanks to a contribution from Haynes Furniture.

"We are so delighted they reached out to us to be able to do this and which is actually help the family with a brand new bedroom set," Alex Malaver, Haynes Furniture, said. "There are no words to describe how good it feels. It gives you the chills. But this is what we do as a community. We give back."

"We partnered with Haynes Furniture and they were the ones who provided all the furniture that you see here," CBS 6 anchor Reba told the Ellis family. "We also got some blankets, some linens, all that little stuff for you."

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"I've never had new furniture in my life. This is such a blessing," Kelley Ellis said. "I feel so, so blessed for everything that everybody has provided for us. And it's like, I can't even describe it."

"Every single piece of this is just special to me. I'm going to remember everyone, every face. I just wanted to say that this is community and family," Nick Ellis said. "I'm a descendant from a Buffalo Soldier. some of the first African Americans who fought in the military. and I'm very proud of that. I'm also a proud Virginian and I'm so happy to be back home."

"You took time out away from your families and your jobs to spend time for mine," he added. "I will never forget this for as long as I live."

The CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible by Virginia Credit Union is underway. Watch for a new surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.