As a teenager, whenever Martez Davis envisioned his future, he saw a family. A wife and kids. He wanted a career that would give him the stability and benefits to take care of that family. He found that in the Navy, enlisting in 2011 and expecting to complete a full military career.
Martez was stationed in Japan in 2015 then Bahrain in 2016, where, two years later, he suffered an aortic aneurysm. During surgery he lost a lot of blood and that loss caused paralysis from the chest down. His military career was over and in 2019 he was facing medical discharge without knowing where he and his grandmother Benethia, who is also his caretaker, would be living.
He heard about Operation Homefront’s Transitional Housing Villages (Villages) program while at Brooke Army Medical Center moved into the Texas Village in San Antonio in July 2019. Service members and their families participate in support groups and workshops, and receive individualized financial counseling to ensure their success as they move forward. Families do not pay rent or utilities on their furnished apartments.
Martez and his grandmother both got support they needed and to help them with Martez’s transition. He was able to save enough money to buy a house in San Antonio and have it modified for his wheelchair. He and Benethia moved out of the Village and into his new house in March.
“Definitely I would want to say thank you,” Martez said. “I have a lot of thanks to give to the people who donate to this program. They are literally the family that people would expect to help you when you get back. But not everyone has that family or family might not be in a position to help.”
Martez said he was worried about becoming homeless.
“I was at a split road,” he said about where he might end up without Operation Homefront Villages. “I myself felt like I was looking at, well, you may not know how, but maybe, if something or someone helps out you can get your own house and not be a paralyzed homeless vet and I found that help. (Donors) are giving people a couple extra pieces of paper to keep writing their story.”
Benethia attended a caregiver support group and learned tips on how to support Martez.
“I would just like to say, I’m 73 years old and we knew nobody in Texas and Operation Homefront was just awesome,” she said. “It was a safe haven for us to come to.”