Anthony, Army Veteran
When Anthony joined the Army in 1995, it was a last resort. Ultimately, it became the best decision he ever made.
Before becoming a Soldier, Anthony says he was having a good time, working as a stand-up comic and a musician, but he wasn’t building a future for himself. In the Army, Anthony says he truly became a man, improving himself and learning responsibility, respect, and discipline.
During his six-year Army career, Anthony served as a Multiple Rocket System Crewmember in Fort Knox, Fort Sill, and Camp Stanley in Korea, where he was also in charge of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program. Following a final stint at Fort Smith, he decided it was time to move on. He pursued his interests, establishing and managing a nightclub, and was married for a couple of years.
Ultimately, Anthony built a solid career for himself, running a television network and supporting himself and his son. He was three months ahead on rent and had an ample savings account. But when COVID-19 swept through the country, the floor dropped out from under him. He found himself with little to no work and was not able to keep up on his bills or rent.
Finally, he reached out to Homefront Military Network (HFMN) “out of desperation.”
“For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t know what to do,” he said.
HFMN connected Anthony with Sonja, HFMN Senior Case Manager, who shared resources and was able to secure two months’ rent for Anthony from HFMN partner agencies.
“Sonja was super helpful,” Anthony said. “She’s my new best friend! I’m more grateful than I can describe.”
Of HFMN’s services, Anthony said, “They let me breathe, figuratively and metaphorically. HFMN also let me know that there are people out there with good intentions. They asked for nothing from me in return. Usually, people do nice things and want something in return. With HFMN’s help, I kept a roof over my head and my son’s, otherwise, I’d be on the street or in my van.”
Today, Anthony says he is still struggling, but working hard to close the gap.
“I’m starting to panic a little more but working hard to try to get some more jobs to come through,” he said.
When it comes to advice for his fellow veterans, Anthony says to never hesitate to seek help when you need it.
“Don’t squander it,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to use it if you need it. We live in a country where we take care of our people.”
After serving his country and enduring some especially challenging times, Anthony said he has come to see life as akin to an old house.
“You never know when the floor is going to give out. Organizations like HFMN are a safety net for when the floor does give way. I, for one, am really grateful.”