First family moves into Veterans One Stop transition home

WACO, Texas (KWTX) It's something every military family faces when they transition to civilian life, switching gears from a pre-set, structured world to a universe of choices and freedom.

Photo by Neal Klaeser

It can be overwhelming especially when coupled with the search for a career or the struggles of PTSD.

The Veterans One Stop created the Robert "Popeye" Carter Veterans Transition Home to aid in the process.

It was dedicated in January.

Now the sounds of a happy family fill the halls.

"We ended up being the family that was fortunate enough to have this place as the first family, and it's amazing that we got chosen," Marine veteran Logan told us.

He along with his wife and two children were living with family members after he left active duty last year but now they get their own space.

"We're just grateful. My son has a room of his own, we have a room of our own," he said.

For six months they'll call it home, but this isn't just about a place to stay.

"The Veterans One Stop is really great about helping you develop a plan so you can get out of this house and into your own," Logan said, "they're really good at not pushing an agenda onto you, they want to know your goals so they can help you reach those goals."

"The idea behind the transition house is, how do we take a veteran and their family and surround them with the services of the One Stop, to be able to launch them into that next phase," said Veterans One Stop director DeLisa Russell, "Where do I live? What kind of job do I want? Do I want to go back to school?"

Stylecraft Homes built this house and Baylor graduate and Air Force Chaplain Brenner Campbell donated the furniture and land.

Now the One Stop is looking for that next family after Logan and his family move on.

Russell said, "the family we bring in would have to be ready, they'd have to be ready to get involved in the opportunities we have at the One Stop to move forward."

"They're not interested in giving handouts, they're interested in giving valuable knowledge and resources we can use the rest of our lives," Logan said.

And Logan hopes any veteran family who's interested jumps on this opportunity.

"There's no doubt in anyone's mind that you can do it yourself, I don't think that's a question in anyone's mind. It's the fact there are people out there that have resources I might not have, for example, I don't have the resources the Veterans One Stop has," Logan told us.

And it turns out he has an extra special connection to this home, one he could have never imagined.

"Robert Carter is related to me by marriage, we didn't know that until we got selected for this place," Logan explained.

Carter who worked at the One Stop helped make the a home a reality passed away last November.

Logan said, "there's a plaque on the wall and every time I walk by that plaque, I can't help but think about his contribution to make this house a possibility."

And do you remember Carter's nickname, Popeye?

Logan said, "when I was in the military I flew in Hueys and my call sign was also Popeye so we share that also."

To Logan they're all signs that a higher power was at work bringing him and his family to this special place.

Logan said, "we have asked God to lead this family in the path he wants, and right now it's here."