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Local community bands together to give fallen soldier's family the ultimate gift

The family of a fallen U.S. soldier gets the ultimate gift — a paid-off mortgage — from their community. (Image source: WCBS-TV video screenshot)

Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs of the New York National Guard was killed in Iraq four months ago, leaving behind a wife and two children, according to WCBS-TV.

Dashan's widow, Rebecca, and the two children, however, received the gift of a lifetime from their Long Island, New York, community in the form of a paid-off mortgage.

What are the details?

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced Tuesday that they'd pay off the balance of the mortgage on the Briggs' home in Long Island.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in honor of firefighter Stephen Siller, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack in New York City. According to WCBS, the foundation "raises money for members of the military and first responders who are injured or killed."

According to WCBS, Tunnel to Towers donated funds toward the pay-off, as did the Briggs' local community. The station reported that Caliber Home Loans filled in the gap that was left in donations.

On Tuesday, Rebecca expressed her gratitude for the generous gift during an award ceremony.

"To be able to stay in our home forever, and where our memories were made ... I won't have to work multiple jobs and I can be there for my kids," Rebecca said. "I'm forever grateful."

What was said about Dashan Briggs?

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who was present at the award ceremony, expressed his gratitude for Dashan.

"Without men like Dashan Briggs, who stepped forward and are willing to serve, we wouldn't have the country we have today and that's a fact," Bellone said.

On its official Facebook page, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation wrote, "Tunnel to Towers is proud to announce, with the help of Caliber Home Loans, Inc., that we have successfully paid off the mortgage on fallen Tech Sgt. Dashan Briggs' home. County Executive Steve Bellone also honored the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation with a Proclamation thanking us for our work and continued commitment to their community."

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