VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Two local veterans are starting a charity to give back to disabled service members.
Kate and Daniel Fornicola are both disabled.
Kate says she served in the Navy for 20 months before she medically retired due to an injury that left her blind in one eye and with debilitating injuries.
Daniel received disability after suffering from head injuries. He says he was in the army for nearly 5 years.
“We spent two years living month-to-month — every month. We were at risk of losing our home,” Fornicola said.
The couple says the time waiting for their Veterans Affairs benefits was difficult and had a hard time paying for other bills, so they looked for outside assistance.
“There are not charities out there giving financial assistance to disabled veterans. It was appalling to me. We made a pact amongst ourselves that if we made it through those tough times, we would do what we could to help disabled veterans and prevent them from struggling the way we did,” she said.
When they were able to get on their feet, they decided to start the charity Continue the Fight after attending the Women’s March in D.C. in January.
Fornicola says she came up with the name after writing it on a sign.
“The concept is we fought for our nation and now that we’re out, I found the battle isn’t over. We have much to fight for at home,” she said.
The couple says they’ll help provide easy assistance for household bills, transportation, and emergencies to make life a little easier for disabled veterans who put their country first.
“If I could help just one person, if I could help just one family not suffer the way we did, all of that I went through would be worth something. It would mean something,” Fornicola said.