A month before she left the Navy, Janny Romanosky bought a foreclosed home in Greenville, SC that was in bad need of repair.
What Romanosky didn't realize was once she left the navy - she too was in bad need of repair.
When she retired from the Navy, after eight years of service, including serving in Afghanistan, she started to experience feelings of anxiety; she had complications with her stomach and severe kidney infections.
Romanosky is one of 755,000 Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan war classified as a Service Connected Disabled Veteran suffering lasting invisible injuries of war.
Romanosky, a wife and mother of two small girls learned that her home was deemed improperly constructed. She and her family would have been homeless in a year if help would have not arrived in time.
After contacting nearly 100 organizations, Larry Druffel and members from the Purple Heart Homes Golden Corner Chapter and volunteers from Team Depot as part of the Home Depot Foundation, "Celebration of Service," partnered to remodel Romanosky's home.
Not only was Romanosky's home repaired - she too was repaired because of the passion, love and support from volunteers, many who were also Veterans that cared enough to make a difference.
Meanwhile in Pawling, New York, another Disabled Vietnam Veteran, Dan Flanigan was about to also become homeless when the 101-year-old house he inherited from his parents was condemned by the town and in desperate need of repair.
Flanigan, like Romanosky, also suffers from invisible injuries from the Vietnam War, before PTS was even understood. There are over 950,000 Vietnam Service Connected Disabled Veterans.
Vietnam Veterans, unlike returning Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans were never welcomed home by their community - leaving additional suppressed invisible scars.
Thankfully, Purple Heart Homes and New York State Senator Greg Ball, who chairs the Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs Committee stepped in to renovate Flanigan's home, putting in insulation, installing 22 energy efficient windows and adding a new roof to help save on his fuel bills incurred during the long New England Winters.
As a result of the outpouring of support from professional trades donating their time and materials and volunteers from the Pawling Community and surrounding areas, Purple Heart Homes will add a New York Chapter to serve Duchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties to provide Veterans that own their own home with ramps when steps have become obstacles, widen doorways and make bathrooms handicap accessible.
When Disabled Veterans come home, no matter what war or even if they were injured while training for missions - they deserve to come home to a safe barrier free-living environment.
Disabled Veterans live on fixed incomes and are faced with rising taxes, fuel costs and the ongoing costs of home maintenance and worst of all their declining health. They already paid a price for our freedom and they deserve to come home to a community that is ready to roll up their sleeves, to volunteer their time and services to help renovate their homes and repair their emotional injuries as well for the service and sacrifice they made.
To learn more about how you can assist Veterans in your community, or to form a chapter in your area contact Larry Druffel at 864-710-7202 or visit www.phhusa.org - go to the 'what we do' tab and click on Chapters to learn more. You can also donate to help Purple Heart Homes provide more disabled Veterans with housing solutions.