This Veterans Day, Andrew, who is nicknamed “Rambo,” plans to host a barbecue on his corner lot in East Austin, Texas.
He will invite friends and relatives over to celebrate freedom, on a day close to his heart.
“I’m on a tight budget, but I throw a little barbecue out here,” said Andrew. “I’ll have some kids running around and try to explain to them how precious it is to have our freedom. I tell them, freedom is not free.”
Spectrum is proud to help veterans like Andrew, an Army veteran and third generation Mexican-American we first met last April. Spectrum Housing Assist partnered with Rebuilding Together to help three families make improvements to their homes in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Austin.
Volunteers painted, cleared the property of debris and overgrown shrubs, rewired electrical components inside the house and repaired the porch.
“It was a blessing for me,” said Andrew. “I’m a disabled veteran.”
If This Corner Lot Could Talk
We caught up with Andrew again in October to see how life is going in the green bungalow on the corner lot. He said he has been slowly making improvements, and has planted a lime tree and some Texas mountain laurels.
“It’s an old house but it’s coming along little by little,” said Andrew. He explained that as the neighborhood has undergone an economic renaissance, homeowners like him have struggled to foot the escalating tax bills.
Some neighbors have left.
Andrew plans to stay. God willing, he says he will spend the rest of his days in his family home built in 1902. It has housed three generations of his family.
“I’m trying to survive this crazy gentrification going on here,” he said. “That’s what I’m fighting for right now. My roots are here.”
Spectrum is Honored to Help Veterans Like Andrew
Through Spectrum Housing Assist, our signature philanthropic program, we have been honored to help veterans like Andrew through the years. At Charter Communications, veterans, National Guard members and active reservists make up 13 percent of our total workforce.
Andrew is the son of a veteran. He was in the Army for two terms of service, and tells us he was honorably discharged twice. He said he started off in the National Guard stationed at nearby Fort Hood, Texas and was activated from there.
To this day, he steps into his yard each morning to salute the American flag flying high above his home.
“That’s right. Every morning I come out here and thank God for another day that we still have our freedom,” said Andrew.
Thank you for your service, Andrew, and thank you to all who have served.
To learn more about veteran and military hiring at Spectrum, visit Charter Newsroom here.