(This the season to be blessed)
A veteran counts his blessings
November is a season of giving and receiving: people coming together, colder weather, warmer drinks, friends, families and communities come together. And our community does a great job at this. Wonderful things are happening in our community and I wanted to share this story of collaboration between our non-profits and our community.
Sometimes life seems over whelming. External forces sometimes seem chaotic, dramatic and immediate and they can cause fear and turmoil. Marine Sean Turner knows all too well how quickly this can happen.
For the past year and a half, this Marine and his family lived in a single room at the Days Inn in Hemet. There were only two beds and one bathroom for a family of five. To cook their meals they had a microwave and a George Foreman grill. They spent 22 holidays and 7 birthdays in that hotel. A month after arriving, Turner was laid off.
Funds from his 401k $2,100 quickly evaporated, paying for the the hotel, while credit cards were used to keep the family afloat. Sean, a good marine was not sure how things were going to work out, but a good solider keeps going.
Everything changed for Turner and his family on September 21, 2019. A good marine brother, Major Tony Williams, came to the rescue. Williams, who over-sees the Marine Corps JROTC at Tahquitz High School, at which Turner’s son Gabriel is a cadet, learned of the family’s situation and started networking. Through this, Turner came in contact with a family he never knew he had: the veteran family. The veteran community stepped in, collaborating with The American Legion Post 53, together with “Paying it Forward,” “Maneuvering Veterans Forward,” and “The Cloverlane Foundation” and The Valley Community Pantry as all stepped up to move Sean Turner and his family forward in a way they never expected.
(This the season to be blessed)
The Turner family is in a new apartment thanks to the Cloverlane Foundation; The Valley Community Pantry stocked their home with food: Paying it forward donated a car to the Turner family, and, as if it had come straight out of a scene from the film, “It’s a wonderful life,” an anonymous donor came forward, and paid for a surprise dinner for Sean Turner and his wife Lisa for their 16th wedding anniversary on October 31. No Hollywood screenwriter could have scripted a better, more heart-warming tale.
A shocked and overwhelmed Turner could only say, “These groups did more than my family and I could have ever imagined, and way more than I thought I deserved. With all their help, my family and I now have a sense of normalcy; we were losing hope that we would ever make it. I can never express enough gratitude to do justice for what all these organization have done for me and my family. I am proud I served, and my oldest will be going in the Marines very soon. I am blessed he has seen first hand how our Veteran family came together for us. Again, THANK YOU.”
They are now in a new apartment and able to save money to get their life back on track and spend the Holidays in their new place and enjoy family time. And we have a new active family living in and giving back to our community. “Welcome home” to the Turner Family. We are so grateful and blessed in our community.
If you hear of great stories about a veteran or a non-profit in and around our community e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 562-719-6826
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