Meet a Veteran: Richard

Richard and famIn the six years that Richard M served in the Air Force, as a command post mission controller, he says what he liked most was the people he met. Serving his country turned out to be a great opportunity to develop his career and meet lifelong colleagues.

His service would also prove to be critical to getting help through financial difficulty later in life. Prior to coming to U.S.VETS – St. Louis, Richard had been working as an aviation fueler and ramp technician, but his wages had fallen by nearly 50 percent, due to industry consolidation.

As a result, he had been evicted from his apartment, and his children had gone to live for a short time with Richard’s extended family. For over a year, Richard experienced homelessness — until the day he was referred to U.S.VETS – St. Louis from a partnering organization called Employment Connections.

Richard and his children moved into a family unit at U.S.VETS, where they resided for a year. During that time, he was able to stabilize his family’s income, his children’s educational needs, and their community engagement. He was also able to discharge as a home owner in a recently refurbished Habitat for Humanity three bedroom house.

Richard currently works at St. Louis Lambert International Airport as an aircraft fueler. Richard and his two children are able to spend more quality time with one another and as a result they have developed stronger relationships. Richard’s progress has provided many positive outcomes in his life, but most importantly the life that he is able to provide for his family and children.