Photo: [Juan in the foreground, Jenny far left] Thanksgiving Day 2020, first time the family was able to touch, hug, and be in the same room with each other since they contracted COVID-19.
“It was so great working with [HFMN Case Manager]. She was so detailed and patient–with a calming voice. She would tell us ‘this is what I’m going to do, and this is what you need to do’…We’re a large family of six with three big boys who eat a lot. Thank you so much, it’s just so wonderful that you guys helped us. We are so blessed.”
Juan, U.S. Army Veteran
Juan is a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the wake of Desert Storm. Like many young people, he joined the military to serve his country, see the world, and have an adventure. What he found during his service was a strong sense of comradery.
Coming from a large family, Juan loved “The family atmosphere. Where you take care of the person on your right and your left. Just being a part of that brotherhood, that melting pot of the United States, where you were all different and being okay with that.”
Juan and Jenny (his spouse) have a large family of their own, and so when Juan contracted COVID-19, even with self-quarantining, the rest of the family soon fell ill. “We were slowly getting backed up on bills that needed to be paid. And when you get behind like that, you think about it constantly, there’s a constant pressure.”
“Juan is the only one who works,” Jenny adds, “we all depend on Dad.”
Jenny has some health concerns, and both Juan and one of their sons need a CPAP machine at night. Including their recovery from COVID, when the family learned that they were in danger of having their water and electricity shut-off–they felt overwhelmed and “like you can’t breathe.”
Jenny called our partners at Pikes Peak United Way, and they referred her to Home Front Military Network. Our case managers then determined that the family was eligible for our emergency financial assistance program.
Jenny says, “It was so great working with [HFMN Case Manager]. She was so detailed and patient–with a calming voice. She would tell us ‘this is what I’m going to do, and this is what you need to do.’ When I got overwhelmed with the paperwork, she was so patient. She just kept reaching out, she didn’t give up, she had faith. It was wonderful.”
Juan and Jenny’s family were able to receive rental and utilities assistance. When they got the call from their case manager announcing the good news, Juan says “all of a sudden you get that breath back and it feels so good. So much weight was taken off. It felt like we were finally able to breathe again.”
Juan and Jenny also received a gift card to King Soopers for groceries and supplies. “We’re a large family of six with three big boys who eat a lot. Thank you so much, it’s just so wonderful that you guys helped us. We are so blessed,” Jenny says.
Today, Juan and Jenny feel like “we’re starting off on a clean slate. And [HFMN Case Manager] is still keeping in touch with us with helpful services and resources for other needs of ours.”
When asked what advice they would give to another military or veteran family in crisis, Juan says, “Don’t feel bad and don’t be embarrassed. Just remember that comradery. If your buddy needed help, you’d be there for them too.”