Nazeraeh Montrond (back row, center) is raising her three siblings and going to school full-time as she tries to continue her mother’s legacy. A new home from PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® Program and Building Homes for Heroes® will help. (Photos courtesy of Nazeraeh Montrond)

Nazeraeh Montrond has thought about it a lot, and the first thing she says she is going to buy for her family’s new Wesley Chapel townhome is a nice wooden table, or maybe a wooden chest.

On it, she will place side by side the urns of her parents — U.S. Army Sergeant Alberto Montrond, who was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan in 2006, and Christl, who died in 2021 from several health issues.

“It will have to be nice,” Nazeraeh says. “It will have to be something I know she would put in her living room. My mommy had high standards.”

The three-bedroom townhome in the Wesley Reserve community at Chapel Crossings, which Nazeraeh and her three siblings will move into next month, is being built and provided mortgage-free by PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® Program in partnership with Building Homes for Heroes®, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has provided 300+ homes for injured military veterans and their families since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

PulteGroup’s program, launched in 2013, thanks returning military personnel who have been injured during their term of service by providing mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families. The program has built and donated more than 70 homes across the country, including five in the Tampa Bay area since 2016.

“We are honored to provide Nazeraeh and her siblings a home of their own,” said Sean Strickler, President of the West Florida Division of PulteGroup. “Their story truly touched all of us….We hope this home will not only provide comfort and make life easier for the Montrond family but will also be the source of many joyful memories.” 

Alberto and Christl Montrond.

Nazeraeh was only six years old when Alberto was killed during his fourth tour of Afghanistan. She remembers riding bikes all day long with him, going to the park and stopping at Krispy Kreme along the way, where he would drink his coffee black, just like she now does.

Nazeraeh grew up fast. She helped Christl take care of the home, looked after her siblings, cooked and cleaned and became a rock for the rest of her family.

“I loved it, changing diapers, and cooking and cleaning the house,” Nazeraeh says. “I just loved making my mom happy.”

But, when Christl got sick in late 2020, the combination of kidney failure and Covid-19 giving her limited time left to live, Nazeraeh couldn’t help but fear for the future.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” she says, “but I just knew she wouldn’t leave this earth if she didn’t think I could handle it. I just had to keep my composure, because of my siblings. I’m their only person.”

She was only 21, and was trying to balance life as a full-time college student with a full-time job, and had three younger siblings  — 10-year-old Bentley, 14-year-old Arabella and 18-year-old Kevyn — that would be her responsibility.

And then, in March of 2021, Christl passed away.

“They told us in September 2020 she had three months to live, but she lived three months longer than that because she was a fighter,” Nazeraeh says.

Nazeraeh is continuing that fight. 

“I’m not going to lie, it’s tough,” she says. “You go from fun sister to parental mode. “I’m responsible for how they turn out as adults. They learned everything that my mom taught them, and now everything else is up to me. It has been tough, but it works. We all make it work, we’re a team, and we get things done as a team.”

Christl had been friends with Sally Farrell of the Military Warriors Support Foundation, that has helped other military veterans and their families in the past receive homes, helped pass along the family’s story. Nazeraeh says she was encouraged by Farrell to apply for housing. Nazeraeh did so, but didn’t think much of it, knowing there were lots of other families in similar predicaments.

But, while on a cruise in March with her siblings on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s passing, Nazeraeh received a call from Gina Cerami with Building Homes for Heroes, which works with PulteGroup’s Built to Honor program by identifying recipients.

Cerami said there was some property in Wesley Chapel she wanted Nazeraeh to look at, and she took her siblings to check it out. 

“I told them not to get their hopes up,” Nazeraeh says. “I told them we were just window shopping for the future.”

The home, just a mile from where Christl last lived, was already under construction. As they walked in between the home’s framing, they were told, “This is where a bedroom will be”…”This will be the kitchen,”….and so on.

Ten minutes later, they let Nazeraeh know – “This is your home.” She and her siblings were handed sharpies to write messages on the wooden frame. Nazeraeh started crying, writing her messages while wiping away tears.

“For He will order His angels to protect you where you go.” (Psalms 91:11 NLT)

“Peace be to you and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.” (1 Samuel 25:6) 

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” (Psalms 73:26)

Nazeraeh and her siblings also doodled some drawings of their parents.

“It was really an emotional moment,” she says. “My siblings, they don’t really understand, it was just a house, ‘Why is this girl crying; what is wrong with you?’ But in reality, this alleviated a huge stress of mine, because when I graduate college next summer, my benefits from my father that helped me pay for our living right now will be cut off. I won’t have to scramble next summer thinking about where we were going to live…those tears were real, so real, my siblings laughed but I didn’t care. I just bawled my eyes out because I really didn’t know what I was going to do. This genuinely has saved me and my family.”

Nazeraeh couldn’t help but think her mother had something to do with it all. Not only did she make an impact on someone who was willing to help her children, but the townhome was so close to where they used to live, and in a school zone that was so important to her mother.

“It’s like she brought us back to where she wanted us to be from the beginning,” Nazeraeh says. “It’s like she chose that house.”

And, not that Nazeraeh needed any more convincing that her mother had a spiritual hand in the family’s good fortune, it’s very likely the move-in date will be August 25, Christl’s birthday.

Nazeraeh, who graduated from Tampa Catholic High, is expecting to graduate from USF next summer with a degree in Health Sciences. She currently works in database management with Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, a nonprofit that teaches financial literacy to elementary, middle and high school students.

She continues to stay focused on her siblings, while planning for the future. She is burdened by responsibilities that most 22-year-olds don’t have to deal with, and she is tackling them all head-on. Having a place to live has opened the door to a brighter future for everyone in her family.

Sometimes, for fun, she and her family will visit the model home and just look around. Her siblings have picked out the colors of their rooms and can’t wait to start painting, and Nazeraeh is determined to find that perfect table to honor her parents. Moving day is coming up fast. Nazaraeh may have wondered how she was going to make it all work in the past, but now she is certain brighter days are ahead.

“This really is so life changing,” she says. “This is our last home. We have moved around a lot. We’ve never been at a school for more than two years. It’s nice to know that this is permanent. I love that feeling knowing that they know this is their space and it’s not going anywhere.”

For more information about Building Home For Heroes®, visit, and for more information about PulteGroup’s Built to Honor® Program, visit

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