Veterans

November 2, 2012

Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program delivers 20 millionth American dream

Tags:
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
homes
On October 26, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs celebrated its 20 millionth home loan in Woodbridge, Virginia at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Carpenter, widow of CPT Matthew Carpenter, who passed away in 2010. VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Program started in 1944 when President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights. Now, 68 years later, VA remains as the largest no down payment program in the nation. Learn more about VA home loans here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/ VA photos by Robert Turtil.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — As three-year-old Joey Carpenter peddled his tricycle over crackling autumn leaves on the driveway, his mother smiled through stifled tears, for she knew her son would now have a stable home in which to grow up.

Neighbors watched as the Department of Veterans Affairs saluted Elizabeth Carpenter, the 20 millionth recipient of its Home Loan Guarantee Program, in a ceremony just outside the door of her new address.

Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey, presented a plaque to Joey and Elizabeth, his mother, the widow of Army CPT Matthew Carpenter, a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran who succumbed to cancer in December 2010.

No matter the circumstances that cause military families to want a new home, the VA Home Loan Program, Hickey said, is a good idea.

“Vets are a good bet; service members are a good bet,” she said. “Because they have those core values of responsibility and dependability and [do] what they commit to do, [whether] they sign up to own a home, or go to war.”

Carpenter said that she knew she wanted to be in Virginia with her family once her husband passed away.

“I wanted my son to have the stability of a home with me and him — this is our new little family,” Carpenter said. “I wanted a home where he could have the memories at three when he’s 16 years old and this is a stable good place for him to come back to, however old he is.”

She added that her familiarity with the VA Home Loan Program stemmed from her father, an Army soldier and later by way of her own VA benefit purchase with her late husband on their home in Connecticut.

Throughout the process, Carpenter learned of the many benefits VA extends to surviving spouses.

According to Mike Frueh, Veterans Benefits Administration director of loan guaranty services, since Capt. Miles Myers took out the first VA home loan on Nov. 1, 1944 in Washington D.C., VA has worked successfully with industry partners, realtors, lenders and servicers to fulfill the nation’s promise to veterans and their families.

This year alone, the VA has guaranteed more than 2,400 loans every day of the year, Frueh added.

Hickey noted the VA home loan program’s long history and its positive service for the nation’s veterans.

“For the last three consecutive years, we have kept 73,000 service members, veterans and family members covered when they experienced hard times,” she said. “Our partners in the mortgage industry have worked with us to restructure those loans, as necessary to ensure they stay under a roof with their families.”

The VA, she continued, does not directly fund loans, but remains the largest, no-down payment program in the nation, with 89 percent of loans fitting the no-down payment description: It is the result of partnerships with more than 1,500 banks and loan originators.

“The program is a critical component of this nation’s mortgage industry,” Hickey said. “For the last 18 quarters, VA is the lowest seriously delinquent mortgage program in the nation.”

Carpenter said she hopes her story will reassure other people in similar circumstances who think their dream of home ownership may be out of reach.

“There are so many benefits through the VA for active duty families,” she added, “but there are also so many benefits for surviving family members and surviving spouses that I didn’t even know existed until my husband got sick.”

Young Joey Carpenter, also approved of the new home and took to it with as much zeal as his mom.

“I knew, pulling up into the cul de sac and walking in the door here, this felt like a home that Joey and I could start pushing forward with the rest of lives in,” she said.

Carpenter also said the VA has helped make her transition as smooth as possible, even after the “shock” of learning she was the 20 millionth VA loan recipient.

“Without the VA, this wouldn’t be possible,” Carpenter said. “We’re very lucky to be here in this home and excited to take this step and push forward to honor Matt the way he would want us to.”

As for the preceding 19,999,999 VA home loan recipients, Carpenter also shared her thoughts.

“They’ve paved the way for all of us now, even my parents, so that people in my situation or other young military families can get into a home loan and have some stability [when] you never know where you’re going or how long you’re going to be there,” Carpenter said. “It provides us the American dream to own a house.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Bari Wald David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to...
 
 

452 AMW lineage began in World War II England

(With the this year’s military ball theme, “A Legacy for the future: 452nd Bombardment Group,” and the ball only 11 weeks away, it seems appropriate to re-print an 11-part series tracing its lineage. The series was first run in the Beacon in 2007. Take this journey with us.) The 452nd Air Mobility Wing started as...
 
 

Official says: Tobacco use harms military readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Because tobacco use is harmful to military readiness, the Defense Department has an added responsibility to curb its use, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said today, noting that service members are more likely to use tobacco products than civilians. Tobacco use can lead to excess oral cavity disease and...
 

 
Photo courtesy of AFN
MC2(SW/AW)

AFN does Comic-Con, brings home the goods

Photo courtesy of AFNMC2(SW/AW) Stephen Hale interviews Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary, Queen of Scots, in the dramatic TV series Reign at the 2014 ComicCon International in San Diego, California. The American Forces Network is ...
 
 

Social media guidance on political campaigns, elections

Reservists on active duty for 30 or more days may generally express their personal views on public issues or political candidates via social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or personal blogs, much the same as they would be permitted to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper. If a social media site/post...
 
 

Go After the OC!M

“If the only reason you’re avoiding taking on a challenge is because the idea scares you, then that’s the reason to take it on.” That line comes from Steve Farber’s The Radical Leap, a great little book on leadership that follows the journey of a man who stands at the edge of his future but...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin