Charity Allows Widow, Young Son to Start Fresh in New Home for Holidays

By ABC News

Dec 13, 2013 6:32pm

Since moving to Cincinnati less than a year, Seana Arrechaga and her son, Alston, 5, are getting their home ready for the holidays.

Previously Fort Campbell, Ky., was their home with husband and father Army Sgt. First Class Ofren Arrechaga, 28, of Hialeah, Fla.

Ofren Arrechaga was stationed in Afghanistan with Headquarters Company, No Slack battalion, 101st Airborne when he and his comrades came under attack by the Taliban in March 2011. It was one of the deadliest firefights of the war.

Six US soldiers were killed, including Ofren Arrechaga, and 15 others were wounded.

Related: ABC News’ Mike Boettcher is caught in Taliban firefight with US troops in Afghanistan

“I think about him every day,” Seana Arrechaga said. “I’ll never stop thinking about him.”

After Ofren Arrechaga’s death, Seana Arrechaga did not want to live in the house anymore — too many ghosts of “AC,” as everyone called her husband and too many memories.

So ABC News reached out to the charity Homes for Our Troops and it provided Ofren Arrechaga a newly renovated home, free of charge.

“It’s huge,” Seana Arrechaga said. “Being here is amazing. It’s like starting over.”

But it wasn’t the only gift for Seana Arrechago and Alston this holiday season.

Sgt. Eric Mendez, Ofren Arrechaga’s best friend, traveled from Fort Benning, Ga., to talk to Seana Arrechaga.

“I tried to get there as fast as I could,” he told her. “And I’m sorry that he didn’t make it.”

Seana Arrechaga said that this year, she was excited to put up the Christmas tree.

“I’m going to watch my son grow up and put up the Christmas tree for him every year,” she said. “And I’m learning to embrace life.”

For more on ABC News’ Home for the Holidays, click here and here.

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