Sunday, April 28, 2019

Army Reservist went from homeless to homeowner in Las Vegas

Once homeless, Las Vegas veteran gets 1st taste of homeownership

Las Vegas Review Journal
Briana Erickson
April 26, 2019

Martinez, who starts studying social work at UNLV in the fall, said her next step will be to help other veterans who might be in the same situation she was in.
She had the key, and now it was time for one more thing. The brand-new American flag, still bright and shiny and creased from packaging.

Carrying it to the outside of her new home near downtown Las Vegas, Ana Martinez attempted to erect the flag on the tan house with white finish. But she didn’t have the necessary tools.
Laughing, the 52-year-old veteran used packing tape to secure the metal plate to the wall. As the flag came up, so did the tears. And when the tape didn’t stick, Martinez held onto the flag tightly.

“A lot of people don’t make it back. … They just don’t have an opportunity to live their life and continue giving,” the Army veteran said through her tears. “It’s just a little emotional for me.”

It was the first thing she did Friday morning as a first-time homeowner.

She was determined to put the flag up and to start up the stereo in her living room.

Only two years earlier, she had been homeless, living in her red two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse and working as a chief warrant officer with the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Sloan.
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