Blind Veteran and East Texas city team up for new home

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

PITTSBURG (KLTV) - Dolores Spencer came to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s, with her husband, who was an American citizen. And just two years after immigrating, she joined the army.

"This country's such a wonderful country, and I felt that I owed something," Spencer said. "That I needed to give back. I made this country my own."

Dolores served during Operation Desert Storm as a dental technician. She was injured, but it was almost twenty years later that her injury took its toll.

"I went to the doctors, and the doctors prescribed glasses," Spencer said. "And in a period of three months, I went through all the magnifications, and it just got worse and worse."

She couldn't drive her kids to school, and was having to regularly spend money on a taxi.

At the same time, the city of Pittsburg was in trouble. The city received a grant ten years ago for housing development, but the housing had to be a certain percentage of low income residents.

"I immediately, without hesitation, told him Dolores Spencer," said Phillip Jones, the Camp County Veterans Service Officer.

Jones recommended her, and Dolores got a loan from the U.S.D.A. She brought 700 dollars for closing, and the city put up 10 thousand.

"She was able to get the house, we got out from under our grant repayment," said city manager Jim Gibson. "Everybody was a winner."

"I'm a hardened veteran, and I was tearing up," Jones said.

Now, Dolores and her family are in a new home, walking distance from school, and already making big plans.

"It's going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving," Spencer said.  "I can smell the turkey already."

To qualify, the city had to have faith that Dolores would be able to make payments on the house. She says she'll do that, and soon her kids will have jobs and be able to help out too.

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