Marine Asks Buddy To Watch His House While Away - Discovers His True Intentions Months Later
Kristin Danley 7/10/2017
When a homeowner is gone for a lengthy period of time and asks a friend to house-sit for him, the last thing that homeowner expects to see is his home in a completely different state than when he left it. When you trust someone to care for something like a house, you hope nothing bad befalls it.
When Marine Master Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo returned home to the United States after serving his country for 21 years in Okinawa, he only wanted an In-N-Out burger. He'd been craving one for quite a long time.
Master Sgt. Bernardo was floored when the friend he asked to house-sit for him arrived to pick him up in a fancy limousine. After they drove to his old neighborhood, Master Sgt. Bernardo couldn't even find his house. He and his wife Julie had bought the home, considered a fixer-upper, because it was all the couple could afford.
His humble home located in Suisun City, California, just wasn't the same. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. He turned to his friend in disbelief, a wide array of emotions coursing through him on his first day back home on U.S. soil. He had trusted his Marine buddy to watch his house and never expected to come home to this.
The friend, Jeremy, first met Master Sgt. Bernardo when they were in boot camp together 21 years ago. They also were stationed together in several cities across the U.S. and in Okinawa. They formed a bond that couldn't be broken.
So on the day he arrived home, Master Sgt. Bernardo climbed out of the limo and burst into tears. This big, tough, stoic Marine couldn't contain his emotions after he laid eyes on his home. His friend, Jeremy Epperson, had managed to put the home through a $70,000 remodel.
With the help from a devoted group of people, the home underwent a complete makeover in just 10 days. Keeping it a secret from the sergeant wasn't easy either, but it was well worth it.
“I had to block him from Facebook so he didn't know what I was up to. Twenty-one years in the Marine Corps, you don’t deserve to come back to a house where you have to spend a lot of your savings and time fixing it up."
The media was on hand to witness the amazing moment when the home was unveiled to the Bernardo family. When Master Sgt. Bernardo regained the ability to speak, he said he felt undeserving.
“Those guys that didn’t make it back ... They deserve this, not me.”
Now that Master Sgt. Bernardo is officially retired from the Marines, he and his family can enjoy their new home and not worry about having to funnel funding into the former fixer-upper to make it more comfortable.