TAKING ACTION: Veteran struggles to find work to keep him off the streets, needs new boots

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Alvin "Neal" Haliton used the last 50 cents he had to get to the Hiring Our Heroes Hiring Fair in Huntsville on Tuesday morning.

"Desperation, I needed a job," Haliton gave as the major reason that brought him to the job fair. "I don't want to be back out there on the street. I'm here to better myself and get back on my feet and start a new life."

Haliton might not have a high school diploma or a GED, but that does not mean he lacks an education.

"I joined in I believe it was '74, I was 17 years old," Haliton said. "I wanted to join before that, but when there's a war going on, my folks said, 'no you're not going,' so when there was a Cold War, they signed the papers so that I could go in."

He has a list of medical issues from his eyes to his teeth, knees to feet. His doctors gave him an option that put him between a rock and a hard place: surgery and healing, or just dealing.

"I just live with the pain and keep rolling," Haliton said. "I chose that rather than surgery cause I can't afford it."

Through Priority Vets and United Way, he received a place to stay and furniture.

"I wound up being on the street, I went from sleeping on the ground to sleeping on a tent to Salvation Army to a two bedroom apartment."

Sadly, all that is about to change.

"He got put in an apartment for some funding that was supposed to last him nine months, he's in his sixth month going into his seventh and they have cut off his funding," said Wendy Wilson of Hero 2 Hired.

Despite the hardships, Haliton decided to come to the hiring fair. This led to a friendship with Hero 2 Hired's Wilson, which led to a hand up.

"Anybody who cannot be down on themselves, and come here, needs help," Wilson said.

Hero 2 Hired is working to get Haliton funding for a new home, dental assistance, new foot wear and a new career.

"He's talking to Scott with ESD Truck Driving School now, and we're going to put him in school and put him in a hotel and feed him for three weeks," Wilson said.

Haliton could still use an army of help and we hope you'll join in his fight.

"He's a veteran that needs help, and we're going to help him," Wilson said.

If you would like to help Haliton get back on his feet through either monetary donations or items, you can contact his case manager, Molly Burke at First Stop, Inc. located at 206 Stokes Street. The phone number is (256)533-3391.

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