Homeless Navy veteran who helped crash victim gets second chance

Pembroke Pines, Operation Sacred Trust provide services

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - Navy veteran Travis Wilson's journey to this moment in life hasn't been easy one, but it sure is inspiring.

"It’s been surreal and it's really been like a dream. I'm having to check myself to see if this is really going on," he said. 

Just days ago, Wilson found himself out on the street.

A homeless veteran who made some mistakes but never forgot the Navy creed: always courageous.

Last week, Wilson came to the rescue of a man involved in a car crash in Pembroke Pines and held up the driver's neck until help arrived.

"I've had a speckled past that I brought on myself and it's not like people are always in line wanting to say 'Hey, we want you. We recognize that you're a good person,'" Wilson said. 

The act caught the eye of city leaders who on Tuesday met with Wilson and the folks at Operation Sacred Trust in hopes of finding him a home and a job.

 "He was a hero before the accident the other day. He's given to this country, he's a solid man and the city recognizes that all he needs is a helping hand," said Jay Shechter, the director of community services for Pembroke Pines. 

Since 2011, Sacred Trust has worked tirelessly to find vets in South Florida homes and make their transition into civilian life easier.

The task is a daunting one.

Despite a 17 percent drop in recent years, nationwide, the number of homeless veterans is less than 40,000, according to the Department of Defense.

"Once someone feels safe in their environment then they are able to move on with their life. The challenge with Travis is having him envision what that life in the future is going to be," Yamaris Arbitman of Operation Sacred Trust said. 

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