Several veterans are getting some much-needed assistance thanks to generous community members in Temple, Texas.
“If you drive up and down the streets of Temple, you’ll see some veterans pushing carts up and down and at night, you’ll see veterans taking their carts and sleeping under overpasses and that’s just a sad sad thing for our country to do to our veterans,” explained Pat Patterson, who helped the Lee Crossley Veteran’s Community become a reality.
The project came together through a joint effort with the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity and Keep Temple Beautiful, according to KCEN-TV.
The community is named in honor of Lee Crossley, an Army veteran, and has 13 duplexes that give housing to 26 veterans who used to be homeless.
“Veterans don’t need a handout – they need a hand up. Every veteran who walks on this ground will never be the same – they will be changed positively,” Crossley’s widow, Sonjanette, said during the community’s groundbreaking ceremony in 2018.
According to Patterson, the community provides veterans with food, a home, and lawn care.
Maurice Poole is one of those veterans.
“I tried to make it out there on my own but it’s hard out there on your own when you don’t have the help,” said the Marine who served during the Vietnam War.
“I felt like it was my duty to protect and serve and that’s how my Marine Corp career got started so I could protect and serve,” he recalled. “I love this country and the people in it.”
“Everything I do now, interview, anything, it has to do with my comrades that passed away,” Poole noted, adding that Patterson and the Lee Crossly Community saved him from an uncertain future.
“As human beings, we have to extend that courtesy,” he stated. “Humble yourself and give whatever assistance you can to those individuals at that time.”
The 26 homes are currently occupied and Patterson hopes other communities and cities will work to make a difference for those in need.
“They would be on the street, suffering and many of them would commit suicide simply because they have no place to go,” he said. “Lets make some noise, lets talk to people and lets try to convince our cities to step forward.”