For more than two decades, retired Sgt. First Class Charlie Pepinrivera served his country with tours of duty spanning the globe. 

For his service, Charlie has received numerous awards and commendations including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

But after he fell from a helicopter, the 24-year Army veteran suffered a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

Saturday in Cleveland Heights, Sgt. Pepinrivera and his family, who have given so much, were surprised with something in return. 

Citizens Bank partnered with Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) to donate a newly renovated, mortgage-free home to the Pepinrivera family. The house was renovated by Citizens Bank colleagues and donated by the bank to Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Homes4WoundedHeroes program. 

“We are proud to honor Charlie’s brave service by providing him with a home that has been refurbished with pride and great care,” said Brad Conner, vice chairman and head of Consumer Banking, Citizens Bank. “Our colleagues are committed to supporting the communities where we live and work, and we are truly excited to have helped renovate this home for Charlie and his family.”

Charlie and his wife Maribel and their 6 children: Joseph, Mariela, Joyce, Gabriel, Joimar and Jonnel will be relocating from San Antonio, Texas to be closer to family in Cleveland. During their time in Texas, the Pepinrivera family has been very active in their community and has volunteered their efforts to feed the homeless; provide clothing and school materials for children; and spread happiness and cheer to others through inspiring music. They look forward to playing an active role in their new community.

“It is a privilege and an honor to award a mortgage-free home to Charlie and his family,” said Kathy Feeney, Executive Advisor of Housing Initiatives with Military Warriors Support Foundation. “This amazing opportunity doesn’t get to happen by itself. Together, with donors like Citizens Bank, we are given the opportunity to serve those who have served for us.”