Thursday, June 27, 2013

Iraq veteran gets shock at CMA Music Festival

Home, finally
Lake Norman Citizen
Written by Lori Helms
26 June 2013

Iraqi war veteran's family receives mortgage-free home from local builder just in the nick of time.

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Please don't cry on national television, please don't cry on national television ...

Ashley Wiley says that was the lone thought running on a silent loop in her brain one very surreal afternoon a few weeks ago.

She was really trying to hold it together, as the realization of what had just happened slowly dawned on her.

There she was, on stage at a CMA Music Festival concert in Nashville with country music star Kix Brooks, who had just announced she and her husband, retired Army Sgt. Ron Wiley, would receive a custom-built home through the nonprofit organization Operation FINALLY HOME in partnership with local builder Classica Homes. The home will be built in Huntersville in the Treasure Cove community.

"And then I cried on national television," she says.

Considering the sudden and monumental turn of events in the lives of her family that Sunday in early June, her tears of joy and relief — even on national television — are quite understandable, because to say things hadn't been easy the past few years would be an incredible understatement.

A 17-year Army veteran, her husband was injured during his second tour in Iraq in 2009. The Humvee he was driving struck an improvised explosive device, and as a result of the concussion from the blast, Sgt. Wiley suffered traumatic brain injury in addition to injuries to his spine. As if the extreme physical damage and resulting limitations were not enough, he also struggles with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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