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Fellow vets come through to save former sailor hours away from eviction

The nonprofit Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals donated a check for more than $2,800.

NORFOLK, Va. — In the military, troops are taught to leave no teammate behind.

Now, a local veteran is benefiting from that credo.

Former sailor Raven Jackson and her small child were hours away from getting evicted and being out in the streets.

That is, until some good-hearted fellow vets stepped in.

"I was about to be put out of my home with my 4-year-old, with nowhere to stay," said Jackson.

The former Navy master-at-arms was one day from losing the house on Ruffin Street in Norfolk. The court-ordered eviction was set to take effect the next day.

The nonprofit Hampton Roads Chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals heard about it, and took action, with a check for more than $2,800.

"It's part of our DNA, veterans helping veterans," said VAREP Hampton Roads Chapter President Eric Gardner, a retired Navy captain. "And anytime you can step up and assist another veteran that's having a hardship, in our case, a housing hardship, we're anxious to do that."

Jackson was thrilled to get the help.

"It feels great," she said. "It still feels like it's one team, one fight, that I can turn to a brother or sister in arms and still have that support as if I was still active duty, it feels amazing."

Jackson came close to becoming a statistic. One of the estimated 33,000 vets who experience homelessness in the United States according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness' most recent Point-in-Time Count.

Virginia Department of Veterans Services Veteran and Family Support resource Specialist Kim Wasserberg is grateful for groups like VAREP.

"They're amazing, to be able to continue that fight and to remember those that they served with, and to make sure everyone stays strong and supported is awesome and amazing," she said.

VAREP is sponsoring a fundraising "Stars and Stripes" golf tournament, to help support good deeds such as this. It's May 25 at Sewell's Point Golf Course at Naval Station Norfolk.

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