Jacob Loya enlisted in the military out of high school because he wanted to serve his country and create a stronger foundation on which to build his life.
Jacob is a planner and thinks about the future. At the time, he envisioned his future involving the Army as a career. But then, after getting married to his high school sweetheart, Lelian, they had their son, Isaiah.
After three years, all of which were spent in Germany, and included two deployments to Poland in 2018 and 2020, along with shorter stints in Georgia and Lithuania, being the father and husband he wanted to be for his family was becoming a bigger challenge than he had anticipated.
“I loved the Army,” Jacob said. “It’s just that I have a family now. I lost a lot of time with my son. I didn’t want to do that to my son and my wife.” On this last deployment, in 2019 I felt kind of useless that she was doing it by herself.”
Jacob did what he did best. He started to plan. He sent resumes to numerous places in Houston, Texas, where he, his wife, and son were living with his mom in a small house. He was hired by an engineering firm but when he began the job last year, they kept sending him to Austin. He was once again not home for his family. He decided to go to plumbing trade school. His wife started going to school online for medical coding and billing.
Jacob and Lelian assumed they would have to live with his family for years before affording to own their own home. But then, Lelian saw an ad for Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) program and applied. On March 1, they will be moving into a donated home in Katy, Texas. Through the program, the family will live in the home for about two years and work with a financial counselor and caseworker to build up their savings, reduce debt, , increase their credit scores and learn how to be homeowners.
“I think this will be a good foundation to have, especially when I go to my forever home,” he said.
Jacob wants the donors to know his whole family is grateful for the program.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate this opportunity I was given,” Jacob said. “They are helping a family, a little boy, his mother, and his father prepare for the future and I just want to thank them.”