Fighting back tears, Christine Pusateri uttered the words, "thank you" into the podium mic in front of her new Cheektowaga home.
Neighbors and everyone who helped renovate the home packed the street to welcome Christine and her 10-year-old son Ryan on a drizzly Saturday afternoon. The two toured the two-story house, and got to see their new rooms - one for Christine, one for Ryan, and one for six-year-old Isabelle, who will move in soon.
Christine's husband Christopher was killed in Iraq in 2005, just two days after their wedding anniversary. Christine's mother Cindy Swimley said the last thing Christine received from him was two dozen long stem roses, and a note that said he loved her and he would be home soon.
The house was donated by Citizens Bank, and was the fourth house the bank has gifted to a veteran's family. A spokesperson said this was the first time the bank has donated a home in Western New York, "but hope it's not the last."