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Veterans just back from the battlefield could find themselves on the street

6:13 PM, Sep 19, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local veterans center could close their doors. If it happens, 20 veterans just back from the battlefield could be on the street.

"We're really scrimping along - financially, we're really at the bottom of the bucket right now," said Col. Len Loving. He's the CEO of the Five Star Veterans Center.

The center changed their name and tried to distance themselves after the Allied Veterans video lottery machine scandal.

Loving said he needs between $10,000 and $12,000 a month to keep the center open.

"We need the money to make sure I can feed, clothe, and put a roof over their head," Loving said.

The money isn't coming in. Loving said he sees donations of $10, $20, even $50. Though he's grateful, Loving said things just aren't adding up.

"To let this place be closed down and kick 20 vets back on the street - after we have promised to do things for them, I think it would be very devastating to them," he said.

Corporal Patrick Petty is one of the 20 vets staying at the center. He said if the place he calls home closes, he could lose everything.

"I'd probably be homeless," Petty said. "I'd probably be in some kind of homeless shelter or on the side of the road."

Petty said he's optimistic, but can't help but wonder what could happen down the road.

"Kind of nervous," he said. "I really don't have an exit plan right now."

First Coast News

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