Imagine volunteering to fight for our country, receiving expensive and demanding military training, shipping off overseas for several months or years, enduring hardship and constant danger, earning meager monthly wages, and then returning home to adulation and praise.
That's a question faced by a lot of military veterans. Unfortunately, it's a question that is not always met with an easy answer, and that has led to a lot of hardships among America's fighting men and women. There are an estimated 200,000 homeless veterans in America. The jobless rate of young veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq was more than 15 percent in January -- 50 percent higher than the national unemployment average. And the financial transition back to other aspects of civilian life -- such as expenses for children and wives and family -- can be trying, too.
That's why I am urging all struggling U.S. military veterans living in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk or Stamford to apply by Oct. 30 for a grant put forward by the Peter Wojtecki Foundation.
This grant, made to just one needy veteran, can help to pay the rent, mortgage or other significant expense for up to a full year. Past grant recipients have had multiple months of rent paid and credit card debt wiped out.
Applying for and winning this grant can really open a door to a better future for a needy veteran. To be eligible, the veteran must have encountered a hardship primarily due to no fault of their own; be drug- and alcohol-free; reside in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk or Stamford; and be a veteran or current member of the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard.
To apply, visit wojtecki.blogspot.com and download the grant application. You can also contact the Peter Wopjtecki Foundation at 203-359-0169 or 203-801-0060.
The application deadline is Oct. 30; the grant will be awarded in December.
If you are a veteran, or know a veteran who qualifies and would benefit from a helping hand, please do not hesitate to apply.
State Sen. Bob Duff represents the 25th district which includes parts of Darien and Norwalk.