Friday, August 10, 2018

Florida veteran leaves woodland for friends

Howard Altman: Homeless veteran finally agrees to leave the woods behind
Tampa Bay Times
Howard Altman
August 9, 2018
"You know the answer to that," he said, laughing again. "Out in the woods I have the animals — the hawks, squirrels, rabbits and coyotes. Here, I just have my two friends sitting here."
Two people who work with the homeless, Hillsborough sheriff's Deputy Luke Hussey, left, and Thomas Brown, right, finally persuaded veteran Randy Strieby to trade his life in the woods for a hotel room and soon, for an apartment. [Courtesy of Thomas Brown]

Thomas "T-Man" Brown called me up Wednesday afternoon with news that came as a welcome surprise.

A former Army staff sergeant who works with Tampa Crossroads helping homeless veterans, Brown was exuberant.

"Randy the roofer is finally coming out of the woods!"

The last time I saw Randy Strieby, 67, was nearly two years ago. I was traveling with Brown on a mission to Ruskin to find this veteran, who had been living in the woods.

A small, wiry man wearing a dirty green shirt and sweat pants emerged from behind a clump of trees.
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