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Marine Corps vet welcomed home by community-renovated house


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Marine Corps vet welcomed home by community-renovated house

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jun 22, 2014

Marine Corps Master Sergeant Jack Bernardo came home to a surprise house renovation after retiring from duty after 21 years. Purple Heart veterans and Bernardo's home community completed the house's incredible upgrade, worth an estimated $70,000, in only 10 days.

"The veteran who’s seen combat in the Iraq War and has spent the last seven years in Okinawa, Japan, with his family, returned home to Suisun City [Calif.] Tuesday. He was speechless when he found the home that was extremely run down had been completely remodeled," reports CBS SF Bay Area. Bernardo had purchased the fixer-upper residence six months ago pending his return home.

“I came here the first time and I felt horrible about the way the house looked and a 21-year-veteran coming back to a major fixer upper,” Jeremy Epperson shares with CBS SF Bay Area. Epperson is a fellow veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and close friend of Bernardo.

Bernardo had asked Epperson to keep an eye on the house until he arrived with his family.

"Through Fairfield’s Jimmy Doolittle Center at Travis Air Force Base, Epperson raised $20,000 in cash and more than double that in donated labor to put in new flooring, carpet, cabinets and completely [re-do] the wiring," further reports CBS SF Bay Area. "They also repainted and re-landscaped."

“Living in base housing and living in places where a lot of people don’t want to live in [and] to come to this. That’s why I’m overwhelmed,” Bernardo explains to CBS SF Bay Area. “It’s just too much. I just don’t think I deserve this at all.”

Watch above for a tour of the Bernardo family's new home.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.