This Army veteran built his own castle in Northern Arizona

Navy veteran Stephanie Sanchez found out what goes into a veteran's one-of-a-kind and self-sufficient home.


In a castle on 116 acres in the White Mountains of Northern Arizona, TL Johnson and his wife Donna live completely off the grid, using his Army experience to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle is his unique home.

When asked why he chose this space, in a remote desert landscape, TL said, "It's sort of like living on another planet, and the rest of the world doesn't exist." With room to breathe, space for pets, and no one around to bother you, the home—what neighbors call either the Military Fort or the Castle on the Hill—is the perfect example of a veteran creating his ideal place to live.

TL built the castle from rocks on the property, as well as reclaimed materials such as wood from old telephone poles and a 1800s schoolhouse in Flagstaff, AZ. The house operates completely on electricity from solar panels on the roof, or, when the weather is other than sunny, a windmill that hangs 42-feet above the ground.

For TL, home is the place you can come back to, once you're done with work or adventures, and put your feet up and relax. This is his place. "For some reason, the peace and quiet, it just calls to me."

Sounds like home.

Brought to you by Veterans First Mortgage.