SouthStar Communities Announces Team to Build Home for Wounded Veteran

Operation FINALLY HOME, Former NFL Players Association, Dallas Home Builders Association and Victory Custom Homes join developer to break ground on project in Dallas community The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas & CEDAR HILL, Texas--()--An American hero will get a fresh start thanks to several local organizations teaming up to build him a new mortgage-free custom home. Operation FINALLY HOME, the Former NFL Players Association, the Dallas Builders Association, SouthStar Communities and Victory Custom Homes broke ground on the home located in the Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie, Texas community of The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge.

“Today’s efforts represent a 21st century barn raising,” said Dan Vargas, Executive Director, Operation FINALLY HOME. “We’re building a new home for this American hero but what we are really doing is rebuilding lives.”

Operation FINALLY HOME builds homes for severely wounded veterans who are 90-100% disabled but want to get their life back on track. The non-profit has built more than 40 homes for veterans in Texas to date and relies on the donations of developers, home builders, contractors, corporate sponsors and individual contributors to continue building homes for those who have given so much for our country.

SouthStar Communities donated the one-acre lot in The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge. This is the 10th project SouthStar has worked on with Operation FINALLY HOME.

"Not everyone can serve in the military but we do have a chance to give back through service," said Thad Rutherford, Vice President of SouthStar. "To hand keys over, it is a team effort that takes builders, suppliers, time and professional help."

The Dallas Builders Association has adopted Operation FINALLY HOME as its charity of choice and is encouraging all 900 members in DFW to participate.

“I can't think of a higher calling than to build a home for a wounded veteran,” said Phil Crone, Executive Officer of the Dallas Builders Association. “We get to build the American dream, but for veterans, they oversee the American dream and protect that on a daily basis.”

Victory Custom Homes, co-founded by former Dallas Cowboys player Bill Bates and Alan Dulworth is building the home. The Former NFL Players Association is also teaming up on the project.

“We are thrilled to be part of this project,” said Bates. “It’s a great way to give back to the people who have given so much to us.”

B-roll and interviews from the event can be downloaded here:

A golf tournament to raise funds specifically to build this home will be held on Patriot Day, September 11, 2013 and is open to the public. For more information or to donate to the home, please go to The name of the veteran will be announced in September at a special ceremony filmed by CNN, and the home should be complete by the end of the year.

Operation FINALLY HOME was founded in 2005 as a non-partisan/non-profit organization with the mission to provide Americans the ability to honor and thank America’s wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed to defend our country in the global War on Terror. Operation FINALLY HOME addresses the most pressing need of our returning heroes -- a home to call their own. The organization’s reach has expanded well beyond Texas, and includes projects in New York, Kansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee. In 2010, founder Dan Wallrath was named one of the year’s CNN Top 10 Heroes in honor of the program’s efforts. More information can be found at

About SouthStar Communities:

SouthStar Communities is a residential real estate development company with master-planned properties throughout the Sunbelt. The company is affiliated with SouthStar Development Partners, and led by president and CEO J. Larry Rutherford, who has worked in all areas of real estate and homebuilding for nearly four decades. Since 1999, SouthStar has developed 20 communities throughout Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company specializes in every stage of real estate acquisition, permitting and development, from government relations to design and project management.


Media Contact:

Carey Marin, 214-914-1157