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Family Story

New HVAC Allows Family to Stay in Home

By Operation Homefront

March 25, 2024

New HVAC Allows Air Force Veteran’s Family to Stay in Dream Home

Air Force veteran Robert Osborne was surprised when he began having problems with heat and the AC in the Longview, Washington, home the family had recently purchased.  

He and his wife, Nychol, loved the house that was also home to Nychol’s granddaughter and Robert’s 81-year-old mom who has advanced dementia. They loved the new place, too. 

The house had passed two inspections “with flying colors,” he said. They were even told that the HVAC system was installed in 2017 and had 10 to 15 years of life left.  

However, starting in June and July of 2022, when a heat wave engulfed the country, the system shut down completely. The cost to repair was too high. Robert and Nychol tried to fix it themselves. In the end, they were told the system would not work.  

To try and save money, Nychol got a second job, and Robert started selling plasma. With inflation, an increase in gas prices, and winter coming, the couple became more and more worried about the safety of the home.  

“We couldn’t have my mom and granddaughter in a home without heat during the winter,” Robert said.  

During an internet search, Robert learned about Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program. Robert applied and was accepted. At first, he felt guilty for asking for the total amount, but his OH caseworker assured him that is why the program exists.  

Thanks to the nonprofit’s generous donors, Robert was able to purchase a new system and have it installed, which cost nearly $13,000.  

“The donors saved us,” Robert said. “Without Operation Homefront, we would have had to give up our dream home, sell the house, put my mom in a state-funded home, and go back to renting. We couldn’t have my mom and granddaughter living in a home without heat.”  

Robert is grateful that people are willing to support veterans. Robert joined the Air Force after losing a football scholarship at Central Washington University. His father had a military career, and he had friends in the service, so he enlisted in the Air Force in 1996.  

He served four years and left. He was going to the police academy when he decided to re-enlist. That day ended up being 9/11. Robert served 20 years in the military before retiring in 2016. During his career, he deployed twice to Kuwait and Iraq and once to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. 

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