As Florida geared up for Hurricane Ian back in September, a Veteran at New Beginnings of Tampa, a transitional housing and homeless recovery program, was dealt a very personal crushing blow of his own. He got word that his 36-year-old daughter had suddenly passed, leaving 4 young kids behind. Nothing could have braced him for this sorrowful news and, as others evacuated and prepared their homes for the impending storm, he needed to make preparations to travel to New Hampshire for his daughter’s funeral.
Our Operation: Veteran Connect team went to work sourcing funeral appropriate clothing and preparing travel arrangements. After 3 hours of searching, with such short notice and the impending weather, all avenues were exhausted. Thanks to a donation provided by Womenade, a group of generous donors serving those in need, Operation: Veteran Connect was able to provide him with a shirt, tie, pants, belt, shoes, and jacket.
When he walked out of the dressing room he said, “Now I can go bury my princess and look like a man.” There was not a dry eye in the men’s department.
When this Veteran returned to town 3 weeks after the funeral, he learned his apartment paperwork had not been handled properly during his absence. He had to forfeit his deposit money and return to New Beginnings temporary housing to start the process all over again.
Once a successful entrepreneur, this Veteran is unable to work because of a combat-related injury. He recently received designation as 100% disabled which made him eligible for a house with LGI Homes, a Veteran friendly company constructing quality homes at attainable, affordable prices. In early January, he moved into his new home, and Operation: Veteran Connect members were there to help. They provided furnishing donations to create a home for this new chapter in life. Thanks to Operation: Veteran Connect, New Beginnings, and Womenade, this Veteran was able to overcome his lowest point and carry-on with dignity toward future success.