After being diagnosed with PTSD, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Donald Davenport, a Purple Heart recipient, got a surprise of a lifetime. He and his wife were gifted a brand new, mortgage-free home Friday morning.
Davenport said he always wanted to serve his country. His father was an Army veteran.
After his business was hit by the recession in 2002, he looked to pursue a career in the Army. He enlisted at 34 years old and was the oldest recruit in basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., in 2011. That same year, he was deployed to Afghanistan.
While on patrol, his unit was attacked by insurgents. His mentor died in his arms. Four months later, the force from an explosion threw him inside the cab of a truck where he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Less than a month after that, he was involved in seven additional close-range blasts causing headaches and nightmares.
Davenport returned back home on U.S. soil in December 2011 to attend his father's funeral. Soon, he would learn four more soldiers in his unit lost their lives.
The deaths took a toll on his health. Davenport's headaches grew in strength and frequency, and he had to received medical treatment. But that didn't stop him.
In 2012, he re-enlisted and graduated from the Air Assault School at Ft. Campbell, in honor of his fallen mentor. He became an instructor at Sabulaski Air Assault School.
Then, just two years ago, he was diagnosed with PTSD.
He and his wife Michaela moved back to the Loganville, GA area to be closer to family, including their two grown daughters and three grandchildren. An on Friday morning, a grand show of appreciation for Davenport and his wife, Michaela.
Thinking they were just going through the preliminary interview process with Operation FINALLY HOME and a builder, the couple was surprised with a mortgage-free home. They were escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and greeted at the site of their new home.
The couple also read inspirational words of support and encouragement left on the studs of the unfinished homes by community members, trades and Glock employees.
Not only was Davenport awarded the Purple Heart, he's also received an Operation Enduring Freedom Campaign Medal, Army Achievement Medal, NATO Medal and more.