A U.S. marine who served more than 20 years stationed in Japan finally returned home this week and was shocked to discover that his friends had remodeled his entire home while he was away.
Jack Bernardo says that back in January, he purchased a fixer-upper in Suisun City, California, so that he would have a place to live when he finally returned home after 21 years overseas. His generous friends decided that they did not want him to have to spend all the money and time remodeling his home once he returned, so they took the job upon themselves.
They redid the kitchen, installed new floors and landscaped the yard.
"I didn't think it was right for a person who retired, given 21 years and 50% of their pay to come back and spend every cent that they saved on fixing up a home," friend and former marine Jeremy Epperson said. “He's a pretty emotional guy, so he's... I imagine there will be a lot of tears.”
Well, Epperson was right. When Bernardo finally arrived at his home, he broke down in tears at the sight of the remodeling.
“I don't deserve this,” Bernardo said. “Twenty-one years I gave serving our country, and if I had 21 more years to give, I would. Because I love this country. Those guys that didn't make it in one piece, they deserve this, not me.”
Bernardo says that he plans to use the money that he would have spent fixing his home to send his two daughters to college. Upon his arrival back in Suisun City, Mayor Pete Sanchez was there to greet him with one more surprise: June 17 is now officially Master Sgt. Jack Bernardo Day.
Photo Sources: Daily Mail