National Home resident and Iraq war veteran, Brian, is an American hero for many reasons.
Once the child of a struggling military family, Brian grew up at the National Home. Motivated by the events of 9/11 and inspired by the honor and faith of those who made his life at the Home possible, he chose to serve his country in Iraq.
“I knew that I wanted to defend my country, so 9/11 reaffirmed my belief that going into the military was what I should do.”
But when Brian’s unit was north of Baghdad on route clearance patrol, a bomb landed on their Humvee.
“When they picked me up, my foot swung past me and it was attached by the Achilles tendon and it was still in the boot. When I woke up 16 hours later, I asked where everyone else is and they told me that I was the only one who lived.”
It took twelve surgeries to reattach and restore function to Brian’s foot, but chronic pain and the memories of the friends he lost that day still trouble him. Today, Brian struggles with PTSD continually, yet he is still proud of his decision to serve.
Brian knows first-hand how life-changing the National Home can be.
When he was only seven years old, life had been chaotic. His divorced mother and three sisters found themselves destitute after his mother lost her job.
But then his family learned about the National Home. Brian’s grandfather had served in WWII, and so his family was overjoyed to learn that they qualified to live at the National Home community.
The family moved into one of the spacious single-family homes, where they paid no rent or utility bills and they were assigned a caring case manager to help them get back on their feet.
“It was a stability that I hadn’t known in years really,” Brian recalls fondly. “I came from a violent household, and suddenly I was in a place where that didn’t exist.”
To view the video version of Brian's Story click here.