ALAMO – Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley with the help partners from H-E-B handed Jose Quintanilla and his wife Cristina the keys to their new home at a ceremony Thursday morning.

The 23-year-old U.S. Marine veteran and his wife are currently students at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).

“It feels amazing,” Jose said after the ceremony. “It's a starter home and a great foundation to begin a family, we have the house settled now we can move forward.”

Before the Quintanillas were living in a one-bedroom apartment and they said starting a family while renting would be difficult if they had to move after a lease would be complete.

Now they know the lease will not be up for renewal and it can help them focus on their family.

“If we were to have kids right now it would be hard if we had to move from apartment to apartment,” Jose said. “Now we have the house and it's a lot easier to have a stable foundation.”

The young couple shared the same sentiment knowing that they could now buy their first Christmas tree for their first home. The feeling was “amazing.”

H-E-B not only donated the volunteer hours towards the construction of the house but also a $25,000 donation so it could be completed in two months.

At the ceremony members of U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) were on hand to give Jose an American flag that had flown at the U.S. Capitol. H-E-B filled the Quintanillas refrigerator with food.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Rio Grande Valley visit