Ernestina Nunez, from Saint Petersburg, FL works as a janitor at a local high school. Every day she walked to her job carrying three large bags. Sad, lonely and distraught she made her way, day after day. She did not go unnoticed in her sole suffering. Richard Newberry, the owner of an auto repair shop watched her daily trek.
She looked so sad. One day, he went out to talk with her. She told him her story- That her heart was broken because her Marine son had committed suicide last year. She felt she had no one in life and nothing to hold to, nothing and no one to live for. Newberry was touched and he tried to sell her a car he had fixed up drastically reducing the price. The once $1,000 auto could be $600, no, how about $200? When Newberry realized how little money Nunez had, he offered her the car for free. She would not accept. So, Newberry began to live Facebook stream the offer so that she would believe he was for real. Nunez did not want to take the stranger’s charity but ended up accepting the keys to a new used car.
Nunez has kept her son’s phone plan active thinking that she might loose the photos on the phone if she let it lapse. She cries as she looks upon her son’s face. David Alexander Nunez had completed three tours abroad and when he returned suffered from depression and PTSD.
“He fought a war and he brought that on his shoulder and I guess he could never shake that off and eventually it took him,” she said. “Even so, I try my best to let him know that he went and did a job, a job well done, and to let it go. But eventually he did not. And he left me all alone.”
Ernestina has a message for service members who return home. She hopes that her words make their way to the ears of a service member suffering and considering suicide.
“I don’t want any marines or any servicemen to carry that on their shoulder. They go out of this country and fight for this country and I want them to take it as a job. Do it well done come home and forget all about what they had done.” “Just put it behind.”
Newberry is helping Ernestina get car insurance and transfer the car. But, he has also set up a gofund me account to help Nunez in her life. In 2 days, 83 donors have gifted her almost $4,000.
Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.
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