NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Sometimes, people find their mission in life in its darkest moments.
That was the case for U. S. Navy veteran Antione Hines who faced serious challenges after serving our country.
When he got back on his feet, Hines was determined to assist veterans who needed a help getting back on theirs.
Hines, who volunteers throughout the community, shared his mantra with 13News Now: Boots on the ground, hands on, heart out.
“What we want to do is make sure that we can give a part of our lives to them,” said Hines, whose passion to help people -- especially his fellow former service members -- led to the birth of his nonprofit group Veteran's HomeFront. The organization's initiatives help veterans find housing, mental health programs, and supportive communities.
“We love volunteering,” explained Hines. “We love serving our country, so when I got out, I served in a different way.”
Hines' greatest love served as his greatest inspiration when it came to his desire to help others.
“I wanted to still stay in my daughter’s life, so we started volunteering,” explained Hines.
“He had always told me that I was special,” Kenya said, “and no matter where he was, that I would always be in his heart.”
Where Hines was -- physically and emotionally -- just a few years ago has everything to do with where he is now.
“One morning, I actually slept in that same parking lot,” said Hines, referring to a parking lot where he finds other veterans sleeping. “I got up that Saturday morning. I went to the next side of the parking lot and helped out with the volunteers that help the other homeless.”
Since that morning, Veteran's HomeFront has blossomed, helping many former military members in many ways, and all because one man -- one father -- wanted to get back to his little girl.
“He teaches me how to be kind to people. Don't judge people,” Kenya shared.
“If I can teach her, she can teach others, and it can keep on going," Hines said. "We can change our cultural mindset to where we help out in the community. Together.”