The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors- Community and Military Outreach Committee held a bowling tournament on Saturday to benefit Army Sgt. 1st Class James Pistole and his family. Building Homes for Heroes is building the family a new home in Crestview.

FORT WALTON BEACH — The Emerald Coast Association of Realtors-Community and Military Outreach Committee (CAMO) has held their annual bowling tournament to raise money for a Building Home for Heroes recipient.

The event, held last Saturday at Fort Walton Beach Bowling Center, benefited former Army Sgt. 1st Class James Pistole and his family.

“One of our committee members knew the family because they had coached their kids in little league, and then another member knew one of their moms,” CAMO chairwoman Chrissy Hartley said. “There were so many connections, so it just felt like it was the right family.”

Building Homes for Heroes is building Pistole, his wife and three children a home in Crestview.

Pistole is a double amputee who lost his left leg and hand after stepping on a pressure plate IED. He served in the Army for 12 years before being honorably discharged in 2009.

While conducting post-blast analysis in Iraq in 2007, Pistole was packing up when he noticed a fellow soldier’s infrared U.S. flag patch lying on the ground just outside the area he had cleared. He walked over to retrieve it but stepped on the IED on his way to his vehicle.

Pistole kept the patch and returned it to the soldier it belonged to when they were both at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio recovering from their injuries.

All proceeds from the bowling tournament will go toward the home being built for Pistole and his family.

According to Hartley, more than 200 people showed up for the tournament, which raised at least $12,000. The total will be anonymously matched by a donor through Building Homes for Heroes.

“Last year we raised about $10,000, and we wanted to exceed that goal and we did,” Hartley said. “I don’t have final totals yet, but this year will be the highest total we’ve raised in the last five years.”