VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — This Veterans Day one local Gold Star Family received a gift that will last for generations.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid, in full, the mortgage for the family of Army Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Fenty Jr.

Fenty was one of 10 soldiers killed when their Chinook helicopter crashed in the Kunar province of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on May 5, 2006.

Born and raised in Long island, Fenty joined the ROTC in college, commissioned in June of 1986 and served his country for two decades.

The Army lieutenant leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and daughter, Lauren, who was born just weeks before her father was killed. Lauren never got to meet her father. 

“Tunnel to Towers has given us a lifetime of financial stability, providing me and my daughter with a home that we can hold onto for generations,” said Kristen Fenty. 

The Tunnel to Towers Gold Star Family Home Program honors the legacy of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, by paying off the mortgage or providing the surviving spouse and young children with mortgage-free homes. 

To learn more about the organization or to donate visit