Work by Purcellville-based HeroHomes to build a new home for a combat-injured Marine veteran and his family got a boost last week with the purchase of lot near Round Hill for the nonprofit’s next construction project.
Earlier plans were to build a house for Jimmy and Pat Ochan on Yatton Road south of town, but a delay with approvals there required a pivot. With the help of Realtor Bob Caines, HeroHomes purchased another lot on Williams Gap Road north of Round Hill. The landowners agreed to a discounted price and Caines reduced his commission to complete the deal.
The Ochans grew up in Uganda, then ruled by Idi Amin. Jimmy escaped to the United States as a 14-year-old refugee. He enrolled in high school, became a U.S. citizen and was attending college in Washington, DC, at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He enlisted in the Marine Corps three days later.
He was deployed three times, twice to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his deployment in Iraq, Ochan’s unit was hit by an IED blast and he sustained injuries that required several surgeries. The injuries left him with TBI/PTSD, migraines, back pain and knee problems. He medically retired from the military in 2015 after 11 years of service and later returned to complete his college work, earning a degree in criminal justice.
Through the all-volunteer construction effort supported the donations of many area business, the home should be complete next year.
The Ochans already have met some of their future neighbors as Caine and HeroHomes co-founder Mark Lowers live just down the road from the property.
For more information about the organization, go to herohomesloudoun.org.