Veteran handed keys to new home in Danville

DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- A set of keys to a new, fully renovated home was handed to a former Marine and Afghanistan war veteran today.

Charles Edward Duke Jr. served nearly ten years before suffering a traumatic brain injury.

“This house is a blessing,” Duke said following the ceremony. “As a Marine, you are told that you cannot show tears, but I’ve got tears in my eyes now. This is my first house.”

The house given to Duke was donated by the City of Danville Redevelopment and House Authority as part of the City's blight eradication program.

“We decided that we wanted to do something meaningful in the community, so we started discussing veterans in need because there are so many,” said Kelli Hauser, president of the Realtors association and principle broker at Hauser Manasco Realty Group.

The association raised money for this project, and many volunteered their skills to help with the renovations.

Bill Joyce, owner and operator of Joyce Electrical Co., was one of many contractors who assisted in the renovation.

“They called me and asked me if I could be available and I told them ‘absolutely’,” Joyce said. “Once I got over here, I saw that everything was going to have to be done. But that’s fine. It’s wired like a brand new home now.”

Duke was selected to receive the house through an application process conducted by Post 1097.