For National Guard SFC Brian Renfro, deploying to Afghanistan had at least one certainty. His civilian job as a teacher would be waiting for him when he returned home. Or so he thought. In fact that turned out to be anything but certain.
Brian's school anticipated his absence for one full school year, so they hired a replacement teacher on a one-year contract. However, Brian's deployment was cut short, and he returned home earlier than expected. Because the replacement teacher was under a one-year contract, Brian's position was not available to him until the following school year.
"We truly felt blessed when we heard Brian was going to be coming home early," shared Brian's wife, Jennifer. "That was soon followed with, 'Oh no! What are we going to do until school starts in August''"
In the meantime, the school board agreed to hire Brian as a tutor. Unfortunately, the salary was much less than he earned while teaching. Even with Jennifer substitute teaching as much as possible, and Brian working odd jobs, they were still unable to make ends meet. The Renfros fell behind and were in serious financial trouble. "Our nest egg ran out a little too soon," Jennifer said.
Fortunately, VFW Unmet Needs was there to get the family back on track until Brian could return to his teaching position. "Without their help, we would have been wondering whether to keep the electricity on or buy groceries to feed our family," explained Jennifer. "We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the Unmet Needs program."
The Renfros are truly grateful for the assistance Unmet Needs provided. "You will never know how much it means that there was someone available to help when we were at our breaking point," said Jennifer.