By Matt Grant:
Local homeless veterans are receiving help this Christmas. They’re not only receiving meals, but also a stay in a hotel.
The National Veterans Homeless Support group is taking action this holiday season to help veterans and their families have a merry Christmas.
Vietnam veteran William Cruz is fighting a different battle these days.
“I didn’t have nothing, not even to go to McDonald’s,” Cruz said.
The former Marine said his wife’s medical bills wiped them out, leaving them homeless. That is, until the National Veterans Homeless Support group rescued him. The Brevard County charity is putting more than 40 vets and their families up in a hotel for Christmas, giving them warm meals and supplies.
“We give them T-shirts, underwear, socks,” said George Taylor, charity organizer.
This is the ninth year organizer Taylor has given out medical supplies, clothing and gift cards for food. A veteran himself, he said he too was once homeless, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I know the fight, I was there,” Taylor said.
Since they’ve started, Taylor said his group has taken 900 homeless veterans out of the woods for good. The group works to get them permanent housing and jobs.
“It’s a morale booster. Show them that we care about those veterans that fought for this country,” Taylor said.
“It just hits you right here. It gives you a chance to get out of the woods, it shows you somebody does care,” said Philip Campbell, a formerly homeless ex-Marine.
The group is not only providing new meals, but it’s giving some new life.
“The fridge full stocked with meats, anything you could think of, it’s here,” said Army veteran Eric Sanchez.
Sanchez was sleeping in a parking lot two weeks ago with his 16-year-old son. Through a state grant, given to the NVHS, he’s been given a fully furnished, fully stocked home, rent free for one year, and he’s got a job.
“It’s like a dream. Like, something I’m supposed to wake up, and it’s a dream I don’t want to wake up from,” Sanchez said.
“I didn’t believe it was real, and my tears just burst out, I was so excited,” said Avery Sanchez, his 12-year-old daughter.
It’s an act of giving to the men and women who have already given so