The Bittersweet Story Behind the 20 Millionth VA Mortgage

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Joey Carpenter likes fast cars and Captain America. A couple years ago, Joey, now 4, lost a super hero in his life — his Dad.

Army Capt. Matt Carpenter, an Iraq War veteran, was readying for another deployment when he started to mysteriously itch. Tests revealed a progressive form of cancer. The West Point graduate was just 29 years old when he died.

Now raising Joey on her own, Beth Carpenter wanted to be closer to her family. She needed a new house and a home loan.

The VA has something called a survivor’s benefit that allows qualified surviving spouses to use their husband’s VA home financing benefit.

“I don’t know what I would have done had it not been for that VA loan,” Beth said.

Nearly 70 years after its creation, the VA Home Loan program has helped generations of veterans, service members and military families achieve the dream of homeownership. The VA mortgage Beth and Joey used to purchase their Virginia home is special for another reason: It will forever be known as the program’s 20 millionth loan.

Matt Carpenter is no longer able to watch his son race down the driveway. But even after his death, the VA benefits he earned through his service are taking care of his family. The Carpenters have a beautiful house on a cul de sac and are now closer to their loved ones.

This was a turn they didn’t see coming. But the VA Home Loan benefit helped them land on their feet.