Army veteran gifted new home in Kissimmee thanks to nonprofit

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 08, 2018, 6:34 PM EST

An army veteran was gifted a pair of keys to a brand new home in Kissimmee.

  • Army vet given new home in Kissimmee by nonprofit
  • Building Homes for Heroes gives Setliff mortgage-free house
  • Nonprofit has given 70 homes to veterans in Florida

“It’s hard to believe this is mine,” said Robert Setliff as he walked into the house.

Setliff is a former U.S. Army Captain. He comes from a family of veterans.

“That's all I've known my whole life is the military and I would gladly serve again,” he explained.

During one of his deployments, Setliff survived a blast from indirect fire that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He also lost two close friends while in Afghanistan — all challenges in his life that have also caused him to suffer from PTSD.

“It’s something I still struggle with today,” he said.

The non-profit Building Homes for Heroes along with JP Morgan Chase surprised Setliff with a mortgage-free house. A spokesperson with Building Homes for Heroes said that out of every dollar donated, about $0.93 go back to veterans.

“To see our veterans when they’re gifted the home, and then to see them a few months later healing more and becoming the person that they want to be again is just … it just makes you well up in your heart, and you know you’ve made a huge difference in their life,” said Kim Valdyke, the Construction & Operations Manager for the non-profit.  

Setliff said this home will open the doors to a new chapter for him and his family.

“I’ve never had anything like this happen to me in my entire life, this is like amazing,” he added. “This is such a great gift, and it’s going to change me and my family’s life. And I really appreciate it.”

Overall, Building Homes for Heroes has given 130 homes to veterans at a national level, including more than 70 in Florida alone.