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The Hixson Family

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Conway, AR

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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Cory Hixson diligently served his country for over three years, until a deployment to Iraq left him critically wounded.

After graduating high school, Cory attended boot camp in San Diego where he pursued his goal of becoming a Rifleman. In October of 2004, he was deployed to Iraq to serve in Operation Phantom Fury, the initial breach of Fallujah. During his 2nd tour while conducting a resupply, he and his unit were attacked by insurgents with heavy mortar fire that resulted in a 6-hour firefight that required air and tank support. After the unit captured three of the insurgents, a mortar struck five feet in front of him, producing a blast of shrapnel to his upper torso, face and left eye. Cory was medically evacuated for emergency surgery to enucleate his eye.

Because of his time in combat, Cory suffers from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), migraine headaches due to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), left eye enucleation, hearing loss and more.

Cory was awarded a Purple Heart, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, and more.

After being medically discharged, Cory returned home and began working at a local surface coal mine as a heavy equipment operator for 7 years until aggravations to his combat injuries made it impossible to maintain employment. Through mutual friends, he was reconnected with a high school crush, Shala. They married in 2008 and have two children. Cory enjoys working out, wrestling, camping, hiking and riding bikes with his wife and children.

Operation FINALLY HOME and Brett Franks Construction, a Southern Living Custom Builder Program builder, are thrilled to provide the Hixson family with a custom-built, mortgage-free home in Conway, Arkansas.

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