ETX veteran no longer homeless after help from 'Hope for the War - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX veteran no longer homeless after help from 'Hope for the Warriors'


A Tyler family was homeless for nearly six months while their veteran tried to find work after returning home from his second tour in Iraq.

Today, the family is in a much better situation after the national organization, "Hope for the Warriors" heard this veteran's story.

The family talks about his struggles returning back to U.S. soil, and how his life wouldn't be the same without this organization.

"This is the last time I saw my wife before everything changed," says William Garcia Jr.

Army Specialist Garcia, Jr. struggles when he thinks about his life as he looks at a photograph of he and his wife from the day before his deployment to Iraq.

Garcia says, "I can't look at that picture without getting a little bit choked up."

Garcia returned home to Texas in 2007, after serving his second tour in Iraq.

The sacrifices he made earned him a Purple Heart.

But very few people know the sacrifices he continues to make after returning to civilian life.

For three years, he was essentially confined to his home, having problems interacting with society.

"I look back and I think you know I did all this sacrifice and look at me now, I'm homeless," Garcia expressed.

For six months, Garcia and his wife lived out of their car during one of the hottest summers to date in Texas--this last one.

"We had no air conditioning, that's when we were introduced to the Defenders of Freedom. They got us a hotel to stay at, but even still the fact that I had to get back into the car and drive," Garcia recalled, "On top of that, I had my cat living with us."

Eventually, Hope for the Warriors heard Garcia's story.

He was immediately introduced to Wounded Warriors Chairman Dick Goetz.

Goetz says, "If you don't have an appreciation for their service to the country, then you're not an American. They've served our country."

They now have an apartment. William has a part time job, and life, he says, just keeps getting brighter.

"They don't stop. They just keep helping," Garcia shared with a smile, "I've never met people this kind. "

From the beginning of his recovery process, his wife has never left his side.

"It is hard to talk about. It almost ruined our marriage--it did. There were times I wanted to walk out, but you don't walk out on the person you love, no matter how hard it gets," Garcia says.

"She's strong and she stands when I cant," Garcia says.

And together, they hold on.

If you want to help wounded warriors, like William Garcia, you can donate to the organization, Hope for the Warrior.

Click here to learn about the Holiday Giving Initiative.

Click here to donate to Hope for the Warriors.

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