NEW YORK - A decorated veteran received a huge surprise at a firehouse in the Bronx, a mortgage-free home that he'll move into in the coming months.
Retired U.S. Army Specialist Evan Marcy's life of service is worthy of the applause he received Tuesday afternoon at the FDNY's Engine 50, where his father worked as a firefighter.
As a high school senior, he watched his dad report to that same firehouse where he'd deploy to work on search and rescue efforts at Ground Zero for a month following 9/11.
The grand gesture created a full-circle moment for him and his family.
"Coming here for different events, coming to see my dad work just instilled that brotherhood mentality as a child," Marcy told reporters following the big reveal.
Marcy mirrored his father's heart for service going on to serve in the military as a combat photographer and now those flickers from the flashes are capturing the start of his new chapter.
"It’s a great surprise. I’m looking forward to the future, and I’m glad that my family is here. A lot of memories in this building. I’m just blown away," Marcey told the audience taking in the news.
In 2009 while on deployment in Afghanistan, he lost his left leg from the knee down after a helicopter fire.
The veteran is the 343rd recipient of a mortgage-free home as part of Building Homes for Heroes in partnership with FDNY 343 Ride, who have raised more than a million dollars for severely injured veterans like himself and fellow recipients.
As a decorated hero who's earned a Purple Heart, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal among many other awards, starting in September, he'll have a brand-new place to call home in East Haven, Connecticut to show for his life of service.
"It represents a new beginning, I guess. But also, positive change, lifting people up," said Marcey.
His surprise stands as a reminder sacrifice and service to others will always pay off.
Marcey will move into his new home this fall.