Sgt. Jontre Mitchell fought back tears as he toured his new apartment home in Lafayette for the first time.
The 25-year-old Louisiana Army National Guard active military received the keys on Veterans Day morning from the management at Park Place Apartments on Belle Fontaine Drive.
Mitchell is a utilities field technician with the Louisiana National Guard and says his new home is a true dream come true.
Earlier this year, Cagan Management Group, which owns the property stopped by the Lafayette Armory to offer free housing for a year, to a soldier in the 256th Brigade, in honor of their service.
To become eligible, the soldiers had to write a narrative explaining what it would mean to them to have the free housing.
Mitchell says he starting writing and couldn’t stop.
“I was pressed down with the weight of physical, mental, and spiritual battles, but I knew that if I can just have one opportunity, I could be an effective leader again and help out more than just one person going through a rough patch in life & create a lasting legacy for the others to follow. I stayed humble through it all.”
On Monday, Mitchell was welcomed home with balloons and cheers to his new one-story, two-bedroom, two bath apartment with free cable and internet.
“Its a dream come true.”
Mitchell joined the National Guard in 2011 while still in high school.
A few years later he became a father and says the stress of it all proved to much to bear.
“It was a battle that I let get the best of me.”
Mitchell said he is now in a good place and looks forward to one day paying it forward.
“The intricate details on the tragedies I’ve encountered has opened my eyes to see the dire need of others in distress, and all I want to do is be able to be a beacon of light for the world to see.” Mitchell said.
“And I want the world to know and remember that although they experience the catastrophic events, they have so much to offer to themselves and others.”