JACKSONVILLE N.C. (WNCT) – A veteran family in Jacksonville received an incredible shock this week. Marine veterans, Mario and Amy Perez were surprised by “Good Morning America” when their new home was paid for by Veterans United Home Loans.

Amy Perez is the community development director for “Remember Everyone Deployed,” an organization committed to supporting families of deployed service members.

Mario and Amy Perez and family (Claire Molle, WNCT photo)

“We’ve been on both sides of being a military spouse and a service member. So we know the struggles of both sides,” said Amy Perez, a retired Marine veteran. “I mean, we’re still in shock. With our house paid for, I mean, it’s a dream come true, right.

“The American Dream is something everyone strives for. And here we are with an opportunity to give not only back to the community, but also to give to our family as well,” said Mario Perez, also a retired Marine veteran.

Veterans United selected 11 families throughout the country for the award, all of which were chosen for continuing to serve their communities even after retiring from the military.