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Family Story

Navy Veteran’s Family Celebrates Forever Home

By Operation Homefront

March 7, 2024

Navy Veteran’s Family Celebrates Forever Home After THV Program

Navy veteran Clinton Patterson cannot say exactly where he would be right now without Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) program, but he knows it would not be in a brand-new home in the coastal town of Daphne, Alabama.  

The town, and the newly built home, were perfect for Clinton and his wife, Jessica, and their daughters, Olivia, 4, and Evelyn, 18 months.  

“The (THV) program is designed to help you succeed, not just get into a new home,” Clinton said. “It gave us an opportunity to safely establish ourselves and find the perfect place for our family. I wasn’t in a panic during the transition, which is how it can be for so many service members.” 

Through the program, veterans who are within 12 months of discharge can live rent-free for two to three years as they build savings, reduce debt, and become established in careers and the community. 

“We wouldn’t be where we are at, succeeding, if it weren’t for the program.” – Clinton Patterson, Navy veteran

The Patterson family was in the program for a little more than two years after Clinton’s time in the Navy. 

Clinton enlisted in the Navy after college in 2014. He had gotten his biology degree and considered medical school but wanted something “exciting.” He was stationed in Florida when he met Jessica, who was working as a teacher there. After living in St. Louis, Missouri, her whole life, Jessica had also been looking for something more adventurous and moved to Florida for a new teaching opportunity. 

He was three days into his first deployment in April 2018 when Jessica confirmed she was pregnant.  As Clinton traveled to various locations in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic seas, both worried he would not be home for the birth of his first child.  

He returned in November that same year, a month before Olivia was born. 

“He was the first person I had met who was in the service,” Jessica said. “We really didn’t know how many deployments he would be on, and definitely didn’t know we would have our daughter in between all of that.” 

Clinton left for his second deployment in September 2019, to the Red Sea region, when Olivia was 9 months old. He was supposed to be back sooner, but the COVID-19 pandemic complicated that and his time was extended. He returned in June. His time away from the family made him rethink his priorities. 

“I found out that my favorite job is being a dad, and I wanted to be home more,” Clinton said.  

Together, Jessica and Clinton made the decision that he would leave the military. He was at a career counselor’s office when he saw an Operation Homefront brochure. They applied, and in December 2020 moved into their THV home in Pensacola, Florida. 

Their goal was to save money, pay down debt and put down roots. They were near the end of their time in the program when they chose Daphne. Housing costs were the biggest reason they didn’t stay in Pensacola. In Daphne, the same kind of house cost  about $100,000 less. Plus, it has good schools for when their daughters are older, and it was still close enough to their family in Florida.  

In March, they moved into what they hope will be their forever home. Clinton also got a job with Oracle as a support engineer. 

Clinton appreciates the Operation Homefront donors who make all the transitional housing programs possible. 

“It was great,” he said. “It really set us up for after we left. It gave us time to find where we wanted to be, gave us time to build, gave me time to get a new job. We wouldn’t be where we are at, succeeding, if it weren’t for the program. We were given an ability to set ourselves up for success.”  

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