A Houston-area soldier is learning just how much he is appreciated. He put his life on the line for his country and his selfless service isn't going unnoticed.
"It's the very least, I get choked up, excuse me. It's the very least we can do to honor them and help them re-enter our society," said one woman in a ceremony where U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chris Maust was given the keys to his brand new house. Maust and his 7 year old son Dylan were given their very own, fully furnished, home.
"This is bigger than my old house," Maust said as he walked into his master bedroom for the first time. The 29 year old staff sergeant will now live the American dream, home ownership, thanks to the non-profit group The Texas Sentinels Foundation. "Having a home to go to is just unreal," says Maust.
His favorite room here? "It's Dylan's room, the Texans room but I love my office, the university of Texas orange. I'm a diehard Longhorns fan. I love the kitchen, yard. The whole house is perfect," smiles Maust.
Maust was injured in Iraq after enduring repeated blows from nearby explosions. "What happens is your brain gets rattled around and it's traumatic brain injury. Your brain hits the side wall and you get dead spots and so between that and a decade of doing stuff I've had three knee surgeries, two shoulder surgeries. I just had neck surgery," explains Maust.
The soldier received his special gift in Fort Bend County with his army buddies right by his side. "One of the best people I've ever known and I'm really glad to see this happen for him, couldn't happen to a nicer person," says Sgt. Justin Weaver.
"He always puts others before himself. Ever since I've known him that's how he's been," explains Spl. Nicholas Braschko.
"He's a great guy. I'd trust my life with him," says Sgt. Paul Podhorn.
"Sgt. Podhorn was one of my team leaders and he got shot in Iraq while we were together," says Maust. These guys have been through battle together. Now they have reunited. This time it isn't for war but to welcome Staff Sgt. Maust and his son home. "This is home. This is forever," smiles Maust.
Maust will soon become a realtor. He says he's so thankful he will be starting his new career selling homes living in a beautiful home of his own.