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Family Story

New Air Conditioner Keeps Family Safe and Cool

By Operation Homefront

April 26, 2024

New Air Conditioner Keeps Navy Veteran and His Family Safe and Cool

Jorge Romero joined the Navy in 2000, when he was still only 17 because he wanted something more than he could find in his small New Mexico hometown. 

For jobs, his choices were “the mine and the Walmart,” he said.  

He talked to a Navy recruiter and decided to see to enlist. Jorge spent his 18th birthday at boot camp.  

Jorge was stationed in Japan during the 9/11 attacks. He remembers that day clearly because he was sleeping when someone woke him up and told him to come watch the news. At first, he didn’t understand. He thought they were showing him a movie. Then it dawned on him. It was real.  

He heard his friend say, “We’re going to go to war.”  

Jorge worked as a combat medic and deployed to Iraq, where he was injured. He was honorably discharged in 2007, earning the rank of petty officer 3rd class.  

“I owe a lot of gratitude to Operation Homefront and the donors.” – Jorge Romero, Navy veteran

Once out of the military, Jorge moved back to New Mexico then settled in Tucson, Arizona, where he and his wife April now live. The couple has a full house with their stepdaughter, their sister-in-law and her daughter, a niece and the niece’s friend living with them.  

Their home first had issues with single-pane windows, which caused inconsistent temperatures among rooms. In 2021, Jorge received help from Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance (CFA) program to fund the $10,700 window replacement. 

The family had difficult times during the pandemic and with more people living in the house plus inflation, money continued to be tight. They were following the financial counseling advice Jorge had received from Operation Homefront in 2021.  

However, when their air conditioning unit in the home stopped working the next year, Jorge did not have the money to pay for replacement. Arizona without air conditioning is difficult even during an average summer, but a heat wave that blistered the U.S. in 2022 made it dangerous. Jorge decided to reach out to Operation Homefront a second time. CFA was able to the fund $9,600 for a replacement. “Operation Homefront has been a blessing,” Jorge said.  

“I owe a lot of gratitude to Operation Homefront and the donors,” Jorge said. “I always tell the veterans I have friendships with all about Operation Homefront. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people out there willing help you.”  

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