U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Marco Garcia and his family will receive keys to a newly renovated, mortgage-free home in St. Louis, Mo., today, becoming the latest recipient of a home donated by Bank of America through a partnership with USA Homeownership Foundation, Inc. DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP).
The ceremony represents the 6,000th home that Bank of America has donated since the inception of its home donation program in 2012, including more than 2,200 to military personnel. The program is part of Bank of America’s efforts to help revitalize communities and support the housing needs of those who have served and sacrificed for our nation. Each donation has been made possible through its partnership with VAREP, which works with financial institutions such as Bank of America to support its House a Vet initiative.
“Bank of America appreciates the tremendous sacrifice our veterans, like U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Marco Garcia, have made in dedicating their lives to serving our country,” said Michael Lawrence, St. Louis market president for Bank of America. “We are committed to helping to revitalize the greater St. Louis community and supporting U.S. veterans as they transition back to civilian life.”
“The Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals would like to thank Staff Sergeant Marco Garcia for his service. Without our continued support from Bank of America, we could not provide the benefit of a stable household to such deserving veterans that we pride ourselves in doing. It is not acceptable to leave a fellow veteran wounded on the battlefield, in combat or at home,” said Master Sergeant Anthony Smith, U.S. Marine Corp. Ret., VAREP St. Louis chapter president.
Garcia spent five years in active duty and joined the Army National Guard in 2010. As a combat medic, he was deployed twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan and has seen more than his share of war. Garcia and his wife have three wonderful children, and they look forward to the gift of homeownership.
Bank of America has supported the U.S. military with banking services for more than 90 years, and currently serves more than 2 million active and veteran military customer households. The company is committed to helping veterans while on active duty and as they transition back to civilian life, including the goal to hire 10,000 veterans and Guard and Reservists during the next few years. Bank of America also supports the military community nationwide through philanthropic contributions to military-focused nonprofits and volunteering. The bank has provided more than $17 million in financial support to military nonprofits since 2009, and company employees volunteered more than 55,000 hours at military events last year.
Established in 2011, the USA Homeownership Foundation, Inc. DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) is a nonprofit 501c.3 organization dedicated to increasing sustainable homeownership, financial literacy education and economic opportunity for the active military and veteran communities. Visit VAREP.net for more information.
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,500 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users, including approximately 24 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Diane Wagner, Bank of America