To become a good Army chaplain, Jacob Richardson wanted to learn about the Army and service members’ experiences from the ground up. So, with that in mind, Jacob enlisted two years ago.
This summer, the next step in his journey to chaplaincy begins as he transitions out of the Army, moves from Fort Campbell, Kentucky to Texas to become a full-time student at the Dallas Theology Seminary, and his wife Leanne goes back to work.
All of those changes are difficult enough but with the stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19, the Richardsons could not visit the areas around Dallas to find a home. The family found the stability they were looking for in Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) program.
Since 2018, THV has helped families who are transitioning out of the military. The program added a home in Fate, Texas, a small town just 40 minutes away from downtown Dallas. Leanne was already familiar with Operation Homefront programs like Back-to-School Brigade and Holiday Toy Drive so when the couple found saw the Texas THV home so close where Jacob would be getting his master’s and she would be working in special education, they knew they had to apply. The Richardson family was accepted into the program and will move into the three-bedroom, two-bath home this summer.
“I feel a lot more comfortable with this,” Leanne said, than the option of trying to get housing without seeing the area. “I am definitely feeling blessed that we were chosen.”
Through THV, the couple and their two children, Joshua, 7, and Emily, 4, will live in the home for two to three years. Jacob will work with a financial advisor to help them fully transition into civilian life and save money to buy their own home once they leave the program. The program is made possible with a generous donation from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation.
Jacob thanked the donors who make the program possible.
“We don’t know what we would have done otherwise,” Jacob said. “This transition period for us, with us switching roles for our family, and COVID definitely kind of threw a wrench into it, this certainly brought some peace to this whole process.”
Leanne added that it was a way to help them focus on getting their children settled, especially since she would be going back to work.
“Having this figured out and knowing the house we are going into, knowing it’s going to be a good one, that’s livable and safe, brings a lot of peace to our minds,” she said.
During his time in the Army, Jacob deployed for about a year to Syria. His time in the Army is not his first time in the service. He had been enlisted in the Marines for two years starting in 2006.