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Stories - Mission United

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Richard & Sonya VetsBuild graduatesOccupation: Entrepreneurs Richard and his wife Sonya are ready to start the next chapter of their lives together.   Richard served 33 years as an Air Force Reservist in a variety of capacities, including a radiology specialist. Sonya is a military wife and mother. Now, the couple is preparing to start their own business in real estate.    The couple’s career goals have been in development for a number of years. As Sonya explains, “My husband has an entrepreneurial spirit. I wasn’t sure if [real estate] would be profitable but as the years went on I...
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Monday, May 20, 2019
Romann VetsBuild Alumni, Class of 2013Petty Officer 2nd Class, US Navy VeteranUS Navy ReservesOccupation: Program Analyst, US Dept. of Veterans Affairs Romann served two tours, totaling seven years, in the U.S. Navy – one world tour and one West Pacific tour – before entering the U.S. Navy Reserves and serving an additional tour in Kuwait. Having traveled the world at sea, Romann was accustomed to spending limited time with his family. However, during his deployment, Romann’s wife gave birth to their firstborn. Being away for the birth and infancy of his daughter was heartbreaking, but he...
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Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Jeffrey  PFC US Army Veteran, Military Police Corp, 561st Military Police Company, Fort Meyer, VA 1981-84 Occupation: Medical Supply Technician    A native Long Islander, Jeffrey left Sayville, New York for Fort Meyer, Virginia when he joined the US Army. Jeffrey returned to Long Island and cared for his elderly grandmother. Finances were tight, but upon his grandmother’s passing, Jeffrey was left without a permanent home for five years. He was fortunate to stay with friends for extended periods of time, but it was not a way to live comfortably. Jeffrey’s lifestyle was taxing on his mental...
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Brian VetsBuild GraduateOccupation: Service Technician Upon graduating high school, Brian, of Coram knew that he wanted to serve his country and enlist in the U.S. Army. In 2006, at the age of 17, he joined as an infantryman on the front lines in the war against terror. While enlisted, he felt a deep sense of purpose, choosing to remain in Infantry instead of transferring to other jobs like many others do.     “Some guys in the army do infantry, and then transition to other jobs like welding, or mechanics. Then, once you get out, you have years of specialized training in a field under your...
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Sunday, March 19, 2017
Daryl is a U.S. Army veteran and a single father raising his 14-year-old daughter in Freeport, doing the best he can to provide her with a happy life. He had been working as an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn for over 10 years, when in 2009 the bus he was driving rolled over a loose construction plate and was dropped into a hole in the street. His hip and back were injured, forcing him to leave work and undergo extensive physical therapy to alieve his pain. In 2013, he was involved in another accident less serious than the first but it aggravated his already sensitive lingering injuries. He...
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Saturday, February 11, 2017
When U.S. Army Reserve Veteran Oswaldo lost his job, he found much needed support from United Way’s VetsBuild program to help get him back on his feet. Here is his story in his own words:   “I served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1990-98. Recently, I had a steady job that I had held for many years working in the healthcare field. Unfortunately, I was laid off when the contract with my company was not renewed. New York state now requires a certification that was not mandatory when I began in the position. It’s hard to compete with today's workforce that have college degrees and advanced...
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Friday, December 9, 2016
At only 36 years old, it seems that Englebert has already lived many different lifetimes. His favorite is the one he is living now – holding a steady, and exciting job as a Solar Installation Professional at EmPower Solar. Englebert’s parents came to Long Island from Haiti, working 12-hour shift days leaving him to be the man of the house, responsible for his own wellbeing as well as his younger sister. It was difficult for the siblings to have a normal childhood as they were typically left with household responsibilities and no money for clothes or equipment for after school activities. Upon...
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
By Matthew Burrier, US Army Veteran   I am the oldest of two children born in Sacramento, California. Adopted at the age of eight with my biological sister, we grew up in the Hill Country of Central Texas.  In 2006, I graduated high school and embarked on a journey into the United States Army.  My mother, fearful of me being another statistic in the growing wars, insisted on helping me choose my future career field.  Her choice won, as it usually does, and I enlisted as a Chaplain’s Assistant.  My primary responsibility was as a bodyguard since Chaplains do not carry weapons in combat.  I...
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