[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/15/art.walrath.cnn.jpg caption="Since 2005, Texas home builder Dan Wallrath has given injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans homes of their own – mortgage-free."]
Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com
Editor's Note: Since 2005, Texas home builder Dan Wallrath has given injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans homes of their own – mortgage-free. He and his Operation Finally Home team currently have ten new custom homes under construction.
Thank you, and everyone at CNN, for acknowledging the important work we as Americans need to do for our heroes - the ones who sacrifice so much for what we do every day.
My wife Carol and I were on a trip celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary when I received the call that I was selected as one on the Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year. At first I was numb - I did not know what to say. I actually started shaking.
When I was first nominated, I never thought in a thousand years that I would have ever been selected as a CNN Hero, let alone in the Top 10. When I hung up from the phone call and told Carol what I had just been told, I said “I never could have dreamed when God laid on my heart to do this for our wounded families, that he had all this in mind. Now 20 million people will know about the struggles these young families face as they return to civilian life.”
All kinds of emotions raced through me, knowing that now more help was coming for our true heroes. The $25,000 I receive as a Top 10 CNN Hero will go entirely to “Operation Family Home” so we can help more heroes that need homes.
Updated: 10/18/10, 1:44 p.m.
Filed under: CNN Heroes
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