A veteran of the U.S. Marines whose house burned down earlier this year and left him homeless got the best Christmas present of his life: a brand-new tiny house.
The Associated Press said that Hoy M. Young Jr.’s house burned down on September 22, and he barely escaped with his life and a lot of smoke in his lungs.
“After the fire, I was kind of hoarse for about a week,” he said.
Young joined the Marine Corps at the end of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.
He said, “I’ve always loved my country.” “It seemed like what should be done.”
Young served in the Marines for the next eight years. He was stationed overseas for a few years and then finished his time in the military at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
When Young got to the rank of staff sergeant and left the military in 1979, he went back to his home state of West Virginia and set up FedEx shipping centers in different towns. Young’s life went well for a long time, but in the last few years, he started having health problems, such as multiple strokes and a heart attack. When his house burned down, things got even worse.
Young stood where his house used to be and said, “I lived here for 14 years. That’s longer than I’ve ever lived in one place.”
A few days after the fire, Young was still living in the cab of his truck on the property where his house used to be. This made his neighbors worry about him. When they found out he wasn’t going anywhere, they gave him a tent. A local minister later turned this tent into a travel trailer.
Over the next few months, good people in the area stepped up to help Young. They brought the veteran jugs of drinking water and a portable toilet, since there was no electricity or running water.
During all of this, Jesse Boggs, the founder of Vision Appalachia, a faith-based community development and aid organization, bought a tiny house that was only half done. The house was started at Robert Morris University as a project to help veterans, but it had been sitting in a warehouse for almost two years.
Boggs, a retired minister, said, “With the help of doctors John Stakeley and Marcel Minutolo at Robert Morris, we were asked by the university to finish this small house for a veteran who deserves it.”
Boggs decided that Young was the best person to give the tiny house to after talking to him, and the board of directors of Vision Appalachia agreed.
Boggs said, “Our goal was to finish the tiny house and have it ready to move into by Christmas.”
This month, the house was moved to Young’s property, and Boggs was there to give him the keys.
Boggs said as he led Young to the doorway, “A lot of Vietnam veterans say ‘Welcome home’ to each other because they didn’t get much of a welcome when they first came home.” “So, friend, welcome home. “This is your new house.”
Young couldn’t say anything after seeing this kind act.
Young said, “I don’t know what to say.” “It’s lovely. I’ve never in my life seen so much kindness.”
Boggs told him, “God loves you.” “We’re here because of that.”