Special Thanksgiving for First Coast vet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Randy Wolffis is taking one day at a time, but this Navy veteran is thankful for deciding he needed help and found fellow veterans willing to help.

Wolffis, 42, is now a chef and has a job,plus he has a home. He had lived in a tent for two months following numerous personal problems.

He said a divorce, a foreclosure and alcohol abuse put his life in a tail spin followingtours in the war zone in Afghanistan, whereseeing death was part of life.

"I attempted suicide," said Wolffis. He then decided to reach out to the Allied Veterans Center in Jacksonville, which he credits forbelieving in him.

On Tuesday, nearly 100 people joined Wollfis at the center located in Arlington to celebrate his completion of a six-month life training program.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was among those who congratulated Wollfis for earning what the center calls a "Passport to Independence."

"I don't know how many second times I canhave. I hope this is my final one.I'm happy living in the moment andenjoying life right now," said Wollfis.

Wolffis becomes thefifth graduate from the center, which opened in January and currently houses 24 veterans and provides them counseling and training.

The Navy vet is the first to be placed in nearby transitional housing blocks away from the center, located on Acme Street.

The home where he willpay rent was recently remodeled and will be his for the next year as he prepares totake the next steptobecome truly independent.


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