Independence for Veterans working to provide a home to Iraqi War veteran


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Independence for Veterans, a New Jersey-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has launched its first “Holiday Home For A Hero” campaign.

The campaign was announced by Stacia McDonough, the CEO of Independence for Veterans and the widow of a decorated Vietnam veteran.

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Coinciding with its 10th annual “They Kept Us Safe, Let’s Keep Them Warm” new
winter clothing, toiletries, bedding and necessities holiday drive benefiting homeless
military veterans residing at two New Jersey shelters, the nonprofit organization has progressed to raising funds to place a formerly homeless veteran in his own permanent home, at no cost to him, according to McDonough.

She said that on any given night, an estimated 40,000 veterans are sleeping on the streets in the United States.

“Unlike other charities, we are giving the home to the veteran. There is no mortgage, no rent, and the gifted home will be purchased in the veteran’s name, not ours. This is a straightforward deal. There are no strings attached. The veteran will only be responsible for his utilities,” McDonough said.

This year’s recipient of the home will be Brandon Grochala, a U.S. Army two-time Iraqi War
veteran who was stationed in Kirkuk.

Grochala said, “Independence for Veterans has always been there for me. Because Mrs. McDonough was married to a combat veteran, she totally gets us. She really cares and she is striving to make a difference in the lives of struggling veterans. Her giving me a permanent home for free will allow me the chance to save, rather than pay a mortgage or rent. It’s a dream come true.”

Independence for Veterans board member Traci Otalora said, “I am proud to be a part of this exceptional organization. These ex-servicemen and women made extraordinary sacrifices for our freedoms. Veterans homelessness should not exist in this country. This issue must be brought to the forefront immediately. We should all pull together and do more to help these veterans who have fallen on hard times.”

According to McDonough, Independence for Veterans is almost halfway to reaching its goal of $125,000. Donations are welcome and may be made through or by mail to P.O. Box 7, Bedminster, NJ 07921. All donations are tax deductible. Questions may be emailed to

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