SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A wounded Air Force Veteran can finally put a welcome mat on a brand new home.
10 On Your Side was there Wednesday when Mari Richardson settled into her well-deserved new digs.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s a joyous day, it honestly is,” she said.
The scene looked like an open house, but it was actually a long-awaited welcome home after 13 years in the Air Force. While in the service, Richardson traveled to Hawaii, New Mexico, Japan, Iraq and Oman, and was deployed overseas twice, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqui Freedom.
“Once I was injured, it was time to get out, so just coming back and doing the transition was very tough,” she said.
Back in the states, Richardson and her daughter found housing options limited and soon found themselves homeless. But on Wednesday, all that changed with help from the Virginia Department of Housing, the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and a few others.
“I appreciate it and I love you all, thank you, my daughter thanks you,” Richardson said.
“We should do everything we can for our veterans. They did everything they could do to make sure we stay safe in a free world,” said Suffolk Vice Mayor Charles Brown.
“Home ownership is the american dream. It’s what everybody would like to see, but seeing a veteran who struggled, who’s been deployed, and served their country to come home to be homeless, and not know where they’re going to live, to all of a sudden know that she and her daughter have stable housing now, to me, that’s the best thing, that’s the best part of my day today,” said Carol Berg with the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.