BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan has a new place to call home, and it’s mortgage-free thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 

As Gold Star widow Katherine Celiz and her daughter Shannon Ceilz arrived at their forever home, they were greeted with a warm welcome from family and friends for their home dedication ceremony.

Last July Katherine’s husband, a Purple Heart recipient, Sgt.1st Class Christopher A. Celiz was shot and killed while on patrol in Afghanistan. Now ten months after that tragedy his family has something to smile about.

“It feels amazing. It’s, it still doesn’t quite seem real yet,” Katherine said.

Katherine said after Christopher died she was having a difficult time trying to figure out her next steps. But, she’s grateful for the Tunnels to Towers Foundation who provide support to families of service members and first responders, for giving her family a place to live,  and sense of security. 

 “The anxiety that I was having it was almost crippling and I can actually kind of breathe now. I had that constant pressure where it was hard to breathe. It’s just a great relief knowing that we are going to be okay,” Katherine said. 

Soldier’s from Christopher’s platoon were at Thursday’s ceremony, as well as the Ceilz’s Rabbi, Rabbi Robert Hass, who said he knows Christopher is watching over his family.

“I think Chris’ biggest worry, of course, was his family. So the fact that they’ve got this beautiful home I think would put his mind at ease a little bit even now. He loved his family,” Hass said.

Katherine also said Christopher will always be a part of their new home. She plans to hang up his artwork and guitar once they are moved in.