By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2015
Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ronny Sweger, his wife, Claudia, and their triplet sons, Brooks, Brett and Briggs, cut the ribbon at their new mortgage-free home provided through Operation FINALLY HOME, Castlerock Builders and New Gulf Resources, LLC.
In July of last year, a fire destroyed the home of retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ronny Sweger, his wife, Claudia, and their young triplet sons, Brooks, Briggs and Brett. On September 30, 2015, Sweger and his family were handed the keys to a beautiful, custom-built home in Mounds, Okla., through Operation FINALLY HOME, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides mortgage-free homes for wounded, ill or injured veterans, surviving spouses and their families. Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builders’ associations, developers, individual contributors and volunteers to help America’s military heroes and their families transition to the home front by addressing one of their most pressing needs – a home to call their own. The Swegers’ new home was built by Castlerock Builders with assistance from New Gulf Resources, LLC.
The home dedication in September was an emotional day for the family, everyone involved with the project, and the crowd holding American flags in the driveway of the new 3,700-square-foot home built specifically for the Swegers.
“When we lost our home, we were pretty devastated,” said Ronny Sweger. “I had started a foundation for warriors. It was mid-stride, up and running. Then our home burns down. It was a difficult time not only in the foundation’s life, but in our lives as a whole.”
According to Dan Wallrath, president and founder of Operation FINALLY HOME, the organization has completed 92 custom homes for heroes in 29 states since beginning 10 years ago. Sweger was named recipient of a new home in January of this year for the incredible bravery, dedication and volunteerism he exhibited during his military service.
Ronny D. Sweger joined the Oklahoma National Guard in 1993. He incurred a number of injuries as a result of more than 10 deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, including post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury, loss of field vision and migraines. He medically retired from the military in December of 2009.
While in service, Sweger was recognized for his courage and resilience with a number of accolades, including multiple Bronze Stars, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. In addition to being a decorated veteran, he was recognized for his volunteer service, receiving the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, Major General Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Service Award and President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame for his achievements as co-founder and executive director of The Foundation for Exceptional Warriors, an organization that assists in the healing process of the families and veterans of Special Operations Forces by providing therapeutic recreational and sporting events, customized to enhance the mental and physical health of our American heroes.
Upon receiving keys to his family’s new home, Sweger said, “I want to accept this home very humbly. The only way I can accept this house is on behalf of all those warriors that have come before and will come behind me. I’m going to use this home to raise a family that will protect and serve, and raise an organization and make it stronger that will protect and serve.”
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.
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