STOCKTON - Vera Bigham, 91, always wanted to be a homeowner after the death of her husband in the Korean War, but she just didn't have the finances to pull it off.
"I always wanted my own place, I had visions of getting a little land, but I didn't have the money," Bigham said. "I was never financially able to do that."
Now, through a series of unlikely events, Vera is a first-time homeowner in the town of Jamestown, in Tuolumne County
"On May 6, it was my 91st birthday," Bigham said. "We moved into this. I got a house for my birthday."
Of all things, it was being scammed of nearly $400 that got the wheels rolling. Bigham and her daughter went to banks and the VA to straighten out accounts and other paperwork. That's when a Sonora VA worker told Bigham she was still eligible for a home loan.
Before long the loan was arranged, the home was purchased, and Bigham and her daughter moved in -- they are now slowly unpacking.
"Our routine is two boxes a day, and that's it," Bigham explained.
Donald Bigham was shot down over North Korea while dropping leaflets from his plane. He was one of two men to die in that crash while nine others survived. Bigham hasn't forgotten how things worked out.
"It's through the Lord and my husband, we have this," she said.