Celebrating Independence: Star-Spangled Veteran Salute
Paving the way to opportunity for the students: (R-L) Lola Caper of Community Awareness Construction Services, Camillus House Clinician Nelson Bermudez, FIU Professor John Weaver and and Ketsia Marcellus.
Anthony “Tony” Gutierrez is currently ‘stationed’ at Camillus House, eagerly awaiting his opportunity to be deployed to his own apartment, hopefully near the VA Hospital so he can easily get the care he needs.
The seasoned vet, whose military service began in 1979 as an Army Ranger and then moved through almost every branch of the military from the Air Force to the Marines and Navy, said “I am a proud American. Even with a disability, if asked to serve again, I would go right to the front line.”
After being stationed around the world, Tony feels fortunate to be at Camillus House right now. “I’m not here as a tenant. I am here to start a new life thanks to their great medical and behavioral health programs. And I'm continuing to stay sober."
Tony feels that we all need help sometimes, especially veterans, and people should be open-minded to receiving it. He worries that with the economy and cost of living increases, many people are on the verge of becoming homeless or already are. “Even though I worked as a handyman from the time I was six years old, this is one problem I can’t fix. But I can give my thanks to all donate to Camillus House, because it helps them provide programs for so many people."
As we give thanks daily to all who have served or currently work to protect our freedom, we tip our cap to Tony. With his unwavering commitment to our country and to ensuring he "won’t ever be homeless again," this certainly is the home of the brave…and proud.