- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Four military veterans are enjoying their third week in a new home that an official from the Michigan chapter of AmeriCorps helped them to find after a fire destroyed their transitional home on the west side of Detroit.

Bill Mowder, a veterans’ resource navigator for AmeriCorps, found a rental house for the men following the Nov. 14 fire at the home owned by the Detroit nonprofit Emmanuel House, the Detroit News (https://bit.ly/1360B8D ) reported. Although the four men living at the facility were not hurt, the blaze killed one veteran’s service dog and destroyed all of their possessions.

“It was very traumatic for all of them,” said the Rev. Timothy Thompson, Emmanuel House’s founder and executive director. “The vet who lost his dog couldn’t stop crying for three days. He had it since it was a puppy; it was his only family.”

The veterans, all of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, were concerned about the prospect of being homeless, especially with winter approaching. But Mowder stepped in to help, launching a campaign to help the men find a new place to call home.

After speaking with his contacts, Mowder was able to find a rental home for the vets. The new landlord has Navy ties and offered to install appliances at no cost, so the men were able to move quickly after the Department of Veterans Affairs checked the home out, Mowder said.

Veteran Ben Elliott said he’s glad the new location has a backyard for his service dog, Cookie, who escaped the fire. His housemate David Addison said the men are trying to put their lives back together and are grateful that things have worked out.

A fifth veteran and his dog, Buddy, have since moved into the home.

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Information from: The Detroit News, https://detnews.com/

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