Meet a Veteran: Bruce

BJD1

Bruce D. is a 63-year-old Air Force veteran. Although he was qualified for a number of employment opportunities, he found it difficult to find a job and eventually was not able to pay his rent, arriving at U.S.VETS in 2014.

Through U.S.VETS, he found work as a security guard. Soon after starting there, he found a second job and worked hard at both for almost a year. He was eventually able to save enough money to pay off his debts and buy a vehicle to get back and forth – giving him some freedom and mobility. With his finances stabilized, Bruce was able to successfully move on from transitional to permanent housing at the start of 2016.

Bruce’s biggest passion is working with youth programs. Even when he was facing challenges in his personal life, he always made volunteering a priority. He started a group called United Rangers of America in 1994 at King Elementary in Compton and the program has evolved to working with YES Academy in the LA Unified School District. Bruce has a special place in his heart for helping children – a compassion that was instilled in him while assigned to the pediatrics unit of a military hospital when he was in the Air Force.

Bruce also has a passion for acting. While at U.S.VETS, he was able to rejoin the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), thanks to a letter his case manager wrote a letter in support of his membership renewal at a reduced rate. He volunteers with the SAG veteran program, too.

Though he has now successfully moved on, Bruce stops by U.S.VETS–Los Angeles frequently to show his gratitude to the staff for all the help and support he received during his stay, and to reconnect with his fellow veterans. He’s always willing to offer support and encouragement for those who are still working toward transitioning to self-sufficiency.