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First home

A place to call home

Often, a complex chain of events leads a veteran into homelessness. Service-related health conditions can result in unemployment that potentially invites substance abuse issues and financial or legal struggles, ultimately leaving the veteran unable to afford housing and creating a difficult cycle to break.

However, a single act can be the catalyst in a chain reaction that puts a veteran back on track. Navy veteran Joseph Lightwies was homeless for decades, but connecting with DAV National Service Officer (NSO) Joe Kauffman in 2015 proved to be the spark that changed his life for the better.

Lightwies sought help through the Philadelphia DAV National Service Office for the status of an appeal after another veteran told him about the organization’s claims services.  Read full story