2023 Veteran Mission
On August 22, 2023, Army veteran Caress Lettine’s story unfolded—an emblem of resilience entwined with Veterans Rebuilding Life.
Stranded at Newark Airport, Caress’ distress caught the attention of the Division of Veteran Services, casting a lifeline to VRL. Just three months back, she faced job loss in Jacksonville and a move to New York, lured by promises of support that evaporated upon arrival.
Alone, she sought refuge at the airport, aching to return home to a familiar place. VRL took the reins, funding her journey back to Jacksonville—covering airfare, baggage fees, and cab fare. Temporary housing and additional support services encompassing employment, education, and long-term housing were secured.
Progress ignites. Counselors like Amy Collins and Natalie Ashanti guide her through the process. Their kindness led her toward the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), a route to lasting housing. Within 48 hours, the unwavering commitment of Veterans Rebuilding Life bore fruit. A temporary sanctuary for female veterans became a reality, a sanctuary meticulously procured on her behalf.
“I am so eternally grateful for Veterans Rebuilding Life…They are An Amazing Organization that care and Support military veterans and families. Thank you so for saving this Veteran I am grateful.”
Beyond the confines of a roof over her head, an intricate web of support services was established and meticulously woven through VRL’s community partnerships network. Armed with this bedrock of support, Caress was empowered to confront the shadows cast by recent tragedies, embracing the arduous yet hopeful journey of rebuilding her life.
Caress expressed her gratitude and progress in a heartfelt message to VRL staff on August 28th. “I got into an all-women’s veterans housing today and will be here until I get a permanent apartment. You have been a huge part of movement in my life, and I will never forget how you have helped me every step up to this moment.,” she wrote.
Counselors became allies; a transitional house offered structure; SSVF promised a permanent home and future employment opportunities aligning with her strengths. A snapshot of progress captured the promise of renewed strength—a testament to Caress’ tenacity and VRL’s unwavering support.