After two decades serving his country overseas in Japan, one marine got the welcome home surprise of his life.
His entire home was remodeled – without him knowing about it.
“If I had 21 more years to give, I would, because I love this country,” Marine Corps Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo said.
The last time Bernardo saw his Suisun City home, it had a dying lawn in the back and was in desperate need of a paint job
But all of that changed due in large part to Bernardo’s friend Jeremy Epperson.
“You know I didn’t want Jac, who had spent 21 years in Japan to spend all his savings on fixing up a house, in their first house that they ever purchased,” Epperson told FOX40.
Epperson had served with Bernardo 15 years ago and knows how tough the transition back to civilian life can be.
“I knew he was going to have a lot on his plate going from 21 years in the corps to going to work at Comcast in two weeks,” Epperson said.
So before Bernardo came back from his post in Okinawa, Epperson rallied local and national businesses to chip in with the costs – a cause many got behind.
But after a long career serving this country, Bernardo remains modest.
“Those that didn’t make it. Those that got injured, or didn’t come back in one piece. I think they deserve it more than I do,” Bernardo said.
Bernardo says his family will use the money they saved on the remodel to furnish their new home and pay for their daughters’ education.