Sunday, July 30, 2017

Homeland Heroes Providing Comfort When They Come Home

A HERO'S WELCOME


Organization provides comforts of home to those who serve the country


Eagle Tribune

Breanna Edelstein
July 30, 2017

"We meet the vet wherever they are in life. Whatever we can do, we do. And if we can't, we find someone who can." Julie Weymouth
Ryan Hutton/Staff photo
Homeland Heroes Foundation Executive Director Julie Weymouth sits at her desk in Hudson warehouse.
"Weymouth in 2012 started her effort with a trip to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where she sat down with a chaplain and asked for some direction."


SALEM, N.H. — The Royer family watched the black faux-leather couch in their Rochester living room slowly dip and sag for a decade without being able to afford a new one.
Several weeks ago, they finally lugged it out of their home when they were given a new one, along with other free housewares, thanks to widespread community support for a local organization dedicated to helping active-duty military personnel, veterans and their loved ones.
Julie Weymouth, executive director of the Homeland Heroes Foundation of Salem, has seen the scenario play out hundreds of times since she helped start the nonprofit back in 2012. For a variety of reasons including financial hardship, emotional struggles and other circumstances, many who have served their country find themselves in need after returning home. So, too, do families while a loved one is deployed. 
Several tours to Afghanistan had taken a toll on Jeremy Royer, 37, a U.S. Army Veteran. The father and husband spent significant time on the aging living-room sofa, struggling with the residual effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, night terrors and unshakably aching joints.
Finances already were tight when his 37-year-old wife, Miranda, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last fall. Doctors said the football-sized mass in her chest was encroaching quickly on her heart, and she'd need to fight for her life.
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