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Iraq War veteran Brenda Lopez builds her home with help from Nissan, Habitat and Wounded Warrior Project

DALLAS – Earlier this month, Nissan North America, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), started construction of a Dallas-area home in partnership with Brenda Lopez, a current member of the Army Reserves who served with the 360th Brigade in Iraq during 2008 and 2009.

The home build, which is expected to be completed this summer, was initially announced following Nissan’s 90-second “With Dad” Super Bowl XLIX commercial and the company’s $1 million donation to the two nonprofit organizations.

Following are remarks from the launch event in Dallas:

Erich Marx, director, Nissan Marketing & Media
“We are in Dallas today for the Nissan, Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warrior build project, really as part of our #withdad campaign, kind of the culmination of our #withdad campaign from the Super Bowl. Part of the campaign was that we wanted to give back. We wanted to partner with organizations that are about dads, and families and building strong communities.

“Today we have Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, our big firm out here in Dallas; we have the Wounded Warrior Project here, and we have Habitat for Humanity. We are just having a great time partnering together, building a home for a veteran. It seemed to all come together just beautifully.”

Brenda Lopez 
“I’m building my house! I’m excited. I was in Iraq in 2008 for just about seven months. I’m a dental assistant for them. I have two kids: a five-year old and a one-year old. It is more important for my kids; they love going outdoors. Right now we are on the third floor and no backyard. So the only time we get, when I have a chance, is the park or grandma’s house. So I would love for them to get a house, have their own backyard, have stability.

“It means a lot to have the other veterans here, especially you know with the Wounded Warrior Project. They are like another family to me.”

David Nunez, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, Dallas, and Wounded Warrior Project Alumnus
“Well I first enlisted in Texas in 2000, stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana, and I was deployed under the stop-loss program to Iraq. My role there was to provide security clearing schools and houses of ammunition and making sure they were safe for kids to attend again. We also conducted several check points for different vehicles and went on several reconnaissance missions.

“I have been having a great time. I’ve been doing a part of the framing and sawing. I was able to saw a couple pieces of wood and just generally help out.”

Colleen Widenhour, deputy director, Corporate Relations, Habitat for Humanity International
“Habitat was really excited that Nissan brought Wounded Warriors to this project with us. We have a very intense focus on serving veterans as well as other groups within the Habitat family, and so it has been really nice to have the Wounded Warriors come out along with Nissan to partner with Habitat to make a difference here in Dallas. The partnership with Nissan is incredible. We have been working with them since 2005. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, they came to us with some very generous donations of some Nissan trucks to help us in the clean up. Since then we have been working together for about 10 years. And they continue to support our disaster response work as well as bring out Nissan employees to build homes in communities across the country, and they continue to supply trucks even to this day.

“This house here is one of several houses in this community. If you look up and down the street you will see that Habitat has been building here for several years. There are different styles of homes, so you can see how they have evolved over the last couple of years as they have tried to revitalize this neighborhood.”

Brenda Lopez
“After the first day from today on out, every Saturday, I believe it is like until the end of April, I will be out here just like today from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and I will help out with my hours. I have to complete 200 hours, and then after that I still have a couple of classes that I have to complete and that is pretty much it. I’ll just move in and this is my house.”

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