A wounded veteran and local hero, Louis Flores of Plainview is the 2012 home recipient for Lubbock Homes for Heroes, a non-profit founded by West Texas Home Builders Association.
Flores, 28, his wife Olga and son Gabriel were surprised with the announcement at the Wounded Warrior game Saturday. For the first time Thursday he and his family got to see their new neighborhood, Bacon Crest.
Olga says this is more than a home; it's a way for her husband to recover from his injury. Recently, he was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Flores began serving his country on April 1, 2003 as an army medical specialist. It had always been his dream to become a doctor and follow in the footsteps of his father, an army veteran.
On September 5, 2005, Flores was deployed to Iraq. While there he was involved in multiple IED explosions, where he helped wounded soldiers and innocent civilians. The breaking point was when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a public market. Flores spent nearly six hours treating innocent bystanders in a mass causality situation.
When Flores returned home to Lubbock in 2007, life was difficult and emotional for him and his family. He did not want to socialize and just wanted to be back helping his fellow soldiers, but he couldn't. Flores was told he could not re-enlist.
Since returning, Flores has struggled with his injury, realizing he can no longer follow his dream to be a doctor. Right now he is attending Texas Tech University majoring in exercise and sports science. He hopes to get his Masters and attend physical therapy school. In the future he hopes to help other wounded soldiers.
Therapy has helped work through some of Flores's struggles. His wife wants to design a room especially for him.
"His own little section where he can relax and listen to the stuff they give him in therapy to follow through with his program," said Olga Flores.
Builders will break ground around Christmas time. The finished product will be in the 2012 Parade of Homes.
WTHBA needs all the help they can get, anything from monetary donations to volunteer labor. In fact, most of Texas Tech athletes have already scheduled to build at one point.
For more information on how to donate go to lubbockhomesforheroes.com
Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11.