Purple Heart recipient gets mortgage-free home in Mastic

Posted: Updated:
MASTIC -

A Marine veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan and received a Purple Heart was given the keys to a mortgage-free Mastic home on Tuesday.

Cpl. Kevin Palacios doesn't like to talk about the injuries he suffered from an improvised explosive device, but they were severe enough for him to receive a Purple Heart.

Like many veterans, Palacios returned home a changed man, both physically and mentally. He says living with his parents became increasingly difficult. His mother told News 12 through a translator that his character changed, but she understood why.

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old father was given the surprise of a lifetime -- a three-bedroom Mastic home that's now his, mortgage-free.

"I'm not sleeping tonight," Palacios said.

The Fairway Independent Mortgage bought the home in November and began renovating it. Its mission was to find a Purple Heart recipient to give it to.

Going from room to room, Palacios was wide-eyed as he explored the new home he'll share with his almost 2-year-old son, Noel. Palacios says he is thankful and grateful to all those involved.

Steve Probst, of Fairway Independent Mortgage, says there were about 30 candidates for the home. He says he and a group of veterans chose Palacios because he was the one with the greatest need.

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