Stories - Mission United



Returning home from the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook was no simple task for Frank, a U.S. Army veteran. Frank suffered many years of health issues and after 22 surgeries, his right leg was amputated to save his life. Doctors expect Frank to be a permanent wheelchair user, and his home was not accessible. After getting construction quotes up to $20,000, Frank’s wife Claire reached out to…

Rev. Eugene & Wife Sylvia

WWII Veteran

Rev. Eugene is an Army Air Corps.Veteran who dedicated his service to our country during WWII.

Following his military service, he moved to New York with his uncle and became an ordained minister. Rev. Eugene worked for an optician in New York City, which is where he met his future wife, Sylvia. The couple married and moved to Long Island. It was in Freeport that they bought their first home together and raised three children, creating endless memories.

Now…50 years later they…

Richard & Sonya

VetsBuild graduates
Occupation: 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…


VetsBuild Alumni, Class of 2013
Petty Officer 2nd Class, US Navy Veteran
US Navy Reserves
Occupation: 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…


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,…



VetsBuild Graduate
Occupation: 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.  

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…

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…

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…

By Matthew Burrier, US Army Veteran
I am the oldest of two children born in Sacramento, California. Adopted at the age of…