August 02, 2019

‘Finally Home’ builds mortgage-free home for U.S. Army Sergeant at Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Reporter: Breana Ross

Published: July 26, 2019 5:16 PM EDT
U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby of Cape Coral and his family received a mortgage-free home at a dedication ceremony Friday.

PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program and Operation “Finally Home” unveiled a newly completed mortgage-free home to U.S. Army Sergeant Howard Appleby and his family at a special dedication ceremony in Babcock Ranch.

The initial plans were shared this past March during a groundbreaking ceremony in which the Appleby family arrived to the homesite believing they were undergoing a preliminary interview process, only to be surprised with the news they had already been selected as the new homeowners.

Since then, trade partners, contractors and the Pulte construction team have worked diligently to complete the home before summer’s end to ensure the Appleby children will start the year at their new school within Babcock Ranch.

The home will accommodate the family of six with four bedrooms, two baths and more than 2,100 square feet.

After several deployments to the Middle East, Appleby experienced multiple encounters with IEDs, resulting in cognitive impairment following traumatic brain injury, PTSD, myofascial pain syndrome and migraines.

For his service, Appleby received several awards including three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Badge, and more.

Howard was honorably discharged in 2011 and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with his family. In April of 2017, he married his love Yoland, a former police officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Narcotics Division. Together, they live by the motto “life is not a race – but indeed a journey.”

About PulteGroup’s Built to Honor™

PulteGroup’s Built to Honor™ program recognizes and thanks returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families. Launched in 2013, the program has built and donated more than 50 homes across the country. Built to Honor works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to identify veteran candidates. For more information about Built to Honor, go to

About Operation FINALLY HOME

Based in New Braunfels, Texas, Operation “Finally Home” was established in 2005 as a nonpartisan/nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of Operation “Finally Home” is to provide homes and home modifications to America’s military Heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms and values. Operation “Finally Home” partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, remodelers, developers, individual contributors, and volunteers to help these Heroes and their families by addressing one of their most pressing needs – a place to call home. For more information about Operation FINALLY HOME, visit