A New Home for a Bradley County Veteran’s Family
By TIM SINIARD
The Cleveland community on Thursday joined with the national organization, Operation Finally Home, in dedicating a partially built home for a United States Army veteran, who lost his residence when an EF2 twister tore through his neighborhood late Easter Sunday.
Thursday’s ceremony marks almost a month of construction on the home. J. L. Cross and his four sons built the original home in the 1970s. Cross, his wife, and two of his sons and daughters-in-law were inside the Hawk Street residence when the tornado touched down. In just a few seconds, the powerful storm destroyed the residence, tossing the family around in the rubble, before quickly moving on to other parts of East Cleveland.
Cross said she and her husband appreciate all the help they have received in getting their new home constructed. Cross, a Bradley County native, served in the U.S. Army and spent several years in the Army Reserves. The new house is currently being constructed with the help of local residents, construction companies and retailers, as well as from Operation Finally Home.
Based in New Braunfels, Texas, Operation Finally Home also has an office in Middle Tennessee. It provides homes and home modifications to America’s veterans, and helps in community efforts, such as the Cross rebuild.
RUBY CROSS, left, and her husband, J. L. Cross, stand inside the framework of their new home. Attached to the wall behind them are “Notes of Love” left for them by a multitude of community friends and volunteers who are helping to build the couple’s new home in East Cleveland.
BANNER PHOTO, DANIEL GUY