INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — 4-year-old Solomon Jones squealed with delight when he saw the balloons in his family’s newly renovated garage.
“It’s a birthday!” he shouted.
Not quite. But volunteers with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that supports veterans, aim to celebrate military families every day.
Solomon’s parents, Kyairah and Tony Jones, were selected to receive a home makeover as part of an Indiana-based initiative led by Operation Homefront, Home Depot and Monster Jam.
The family was surprised Thursday afternoon with an overhauled garage; freshly painted walls; new flooring, appliances and furniture; and a table of Monster Jam toy trucks for Solomon and 10-year-old brother Ka’Reem.
“I was going to cry,” Kyairah said of the garage reveal. “We couldn’t even park our cars in here before!”
The Joneses have faced unique challenges, even among active-duty military families; both Kyairah and Tony have served in the armed forces.
Tony was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after eight years of service. Kyairah currently serves as a technical sergeant with the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s the least we can do… come in and give them a little bit to make their house a little more comfortable,” said Carrie Welty, a Home Depot employee involved in the renovation project.
Operation Homefront aims to do more than create comfortable houses, volunteers said; they help troops come home.
Kyairah and Tony, high school sweethearts more accustomed to giving than receiving, told News 8 they were overcome with gratitude.
“I think the fun part about this is that we were chosen and we were not expecting anything at all,” Kyairah said.