CLINE: A nice addition to the neighborhood landscape

Our recent run of good weather has been perfect for getting out and enjoying a walk. We don’t lack for quality parks in Gwinnett County — I have four great ones within 20 minutes or less from my home — but sometimes it’s easier, not to mention more informative, to walk around the neighborhood.

It gives you a chance to not only say hello to neighbors but to get a pulse of the area. You see who drives fast, who drives slow, who’s driving something new, who has the best landscaping and who has the worst (I’m always happy when it isn’t me.)

There used to be a time when on those walks I’d also see plenty of wildlife, mostly deer who called the unfinished part of the subdivision home. I previously wrote about those suburban deer, who have had to find new homes because of the human ones being added — a bad deal for the deer but a great one for the economy.

Toward the back of the subdivision, near where a gate used to be situated to keep people from driving through the unfinished part, is a real sign. And it was a nice discovery the first time I saw it while on a walk with the dog. It marks the site where a new home will be built — which isn’t novel in a neighborhood that seems to be growing every day.

However, it’s not a “for sale” sign, but a “for” sign. The lot, you see, is for the future home of Sgt. Perry Haley and his family.

Haley was injured while serving in Iraq and Korea and is dealing with health problems due to a brain tumor. The house is being presented to the family by the PulteGroup in partnership with Operation Finally Home, a group dedicated to providing “custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s heroes and the widows of the fallen who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms and our way of life.”

Haley is a veteran, a hero like all the other men and women who serve our country. He has received several commendations, including the Army Achievement Medal, Army Superior Unit Award and Good Conduct Medal. He and his wife Autumn have three daughters, Georgia, Eva and Hannah and they will be present on Wednesday at 2 p.m. for the official groundbreaking at Barrington Estates in Sugar Hill.

They’ll get to see the site where Pulte Homes, with support from its trade partners and vendors will build, decorate and donate the home, which is expected to be completed by this summer. Sugar Hill Mayor Steve Edwards will be there as will folks from Pulte and Operation Finally Home. Presumably some future neighbors will stop by as well.

Programs like these that honor veterans are always nice to hear about, even more so when the donated home is in your own neighborhood. The Haley’s future home is one I walk by often. This summer I look forward to waving hello, and to making sure their yard doesn’t totally put my to shame.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.