Ex-Soldier's Family Facing Eviction Gets Support From Around The Country

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

ACADEMY (December 13, 2012)-Christmas is coming early this year for a forgotten soldier and his family.

The word "charity" is unfamiliar to Sgt. Howard Oliver of Academy, TX. The former soldier has spent nearly a decade serving in the U.S. Military.

So when total strangers offered to help him and his family after learning they may not have a home during Christmas, he was shocked.

"This has just been a relief," Sgt. Oliver said.

"It's been...a huge relief."

The Oliver family awaited eviction this month. Sgt. Oliver explained to News 10 on Wednesday that his military career left him with PTSD and a severe shoulder injury.

Right now he's in the middle of a military Medical Evaluation Board. Because of this, it makes Sgt. Oliver eligible for monthly incapacitation pay.

But records show that Sgt. Oliver hasn't been paid since July 2012. Sgt. Oliver claims the National Guard owes him roughly $18,000.

"It comes inconsistently," Sgt. Oliver said.

"It's ridiculous, I mean, there is absolutely no excuse for it."

Due to inconsistent incapacitation pay, Sgt. Oliver and his family have faced eviction 5 times since 2010. This year would be the third year they couldn't provide their daughter with a Christmas.

Central Texans learned of the story and within hours the Oliver home was flooded with phone calls and e-mails.

The story even reached a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan. Needless to say, many wanted to step up and help.

"We're not used to charity," Kimi Oliver said.

"But we're getting it and it certainly feels amazing."

The Oliver's story even reached Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

Congressman John Carter's office has decided to take up Sgt. Oliver's case and is trying to reach a resolution.

"In cases like this, sometimes we have a favorable outcome and sometimes we don't," Congressman Carter's Spokesperson John Stone said.

"But we will fight to the end to get the best for our constituents."

News 10 located the Oliver's landlord. He said he isn't planning on evicting the family anytime soon, but that might not matter anymore.

During a follow up interview Thursday, a family came to the Oliver's home offering to pay their rent for December and January. They even want to take the Oliver's daughter shopping for Christmas.

Kimi Oliver held back tears of joy. Christmas for the Oliver family was saved.

"You feel like you're alone in situations like these," Sgt. Oliver said.

"It feels really good that there is someone else who understands what I'm going through."

News 10 learned throughout the day that donation funds were set up for the family locally and out of state. At approximately 10:20 p.m. Thursday, one donation fund had raised a little over $4,700.


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