CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A U.S. Army veteran wounded while serving his country had the surprise of a lifetime Saturday when he was gifted a new home in Cleveland Heights.
Sergeant First Class Charlie Pepinrivera served in the military for more than two decades and did multiple tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Bosnia.
He was wounded when he fell out of a helicopter during a military operation. Pepinrivera sustained a traumatic brain injury and copes with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pepinrivera is highly decorated, having been presented with the Combat Action Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal as well as the Bronze Star.
He started his service as a National Guardsman in Puerto Rico before going active duty in the Army. Pepinrivera retired in 2017 after serving 24 years.
He moved to Cleveland from San Antonio, Texas, to be closer to friends and family who are helping him recuperate from his injuries. Pepinrivera family has never really had an actual home of their own, having lived previously only lived in apartments.
The home Pepinrivera was gifted was made possible by a partnership between Citizens Bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation.