PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (PIX11) – Mylcaryz Moquete accomplished so much in nine years of serving as a medic in the Army. Soon, she will be able to check off one more life accomplishment: owning a home.

“We’re just looking forward to it, making memories in our new home and growing old and celebrating with family and friends,” said Moquete. “Every year for the holidays, we would gather at my grandmother’s house, Thanksgiving especially. Christmas, the whole house would be full of family members, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandkids.”

Morris Habitat for Humanity helps build affordable new homes for income-eligible families. During Veterans Build Week, a national initiative to provide housing for veterans, Moquete and family will be building a place of their own in Perth Amboy.

“It’s a hand-up, not a hand-out,” said Morris Habitat CEO Liz DeCoursey. “They have to help build their own home and do counseling, but it is an opportunity for them to have an affordable mortgage, to have their own home, to have a piece of the American dream.”

Local and state dignitaries signed the beams of the home, sharing their well-wishes.

Officials said more than 1.5 million veterans spend at least half their income on rent or their mortgage, highlighting a need for more affordable housing for veterans.

Moquete currently rents a home in the city, and owning a home seemed like a distant goal. Now, all that stands between them and that goal is 400 hours of sweat equity.

“Even if we have grandkids, we can say to them, ‘This house was built with our own hands,'” said Moquete.

If all goes according to plan, Moquete and her family will be making holiday dinner memories inside their new home next holiday season.