Iraq vet offers home rent-free to homeless squaddie

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A WAR veteran has been flooded with applications from homeless squaddies after he offered a flat, rent-free, for six months.

Chris Wieczorek, who fought in the Iraq War, received more than 30 requests in one day from other military veterans who need a home.

The 43-year-old former Sergeant from Bo’ness, near Edinburgh, hopes that by giving shelter to a homeless veteran he will help them rebuild their life.

Chris hopes a homeless veteran will be able to make use of the flat
Chris hopes a homeless veteran will be able to make use of the flat

 

The kind gesture will cost Chris almost £2,300 in rent that he could charge for the refurbished one-bedroom flat in Falkirk.

Chris, who served in Iraq in 2003-04, was himself unemployed for a spell and knows how difficult it can be to adjust to civilian life.

He now runs a firm, buying and renovating properties to let, and decided “it was time to give something back”.

He fought in the Iraq war in 2003-2004
He fought in the Iraq war in 2003-2004

 

Chris posted on his Facebook page: “I’m an ex-squaddie and would like to help an ex-squaddie out by allowing them to rent this one-bed for free for six months until they get themselves back on their feet.

“Please, please, please help me find a homeless ex-squaddie so they have the confidence again to help them on their way.”

He has already received more than 30 requests from military veterans
He has already received more than 30 requests from military veterans

 

Chris posted the message on Sunday morning and within 24 hours had received 1,000 friend requests and 30 official applications for the flat, which would normally cost £380 a month.

Chris said: “Hopefully more people will get on it and follow suit as the reaction has been crazy. I’ve already had about a thousand friend requests in the past day.”

He added: “We want to find someone who has been vetted through the charity, Soldiers off the Street, to find someone in need who doesn’t have a home or nowhere to go.

Chris has already had 1,000 friend requests since posting the ad
Chris has already had 1,000 friend requests since posting the ad

 

“I left the military in 2004. I was fortunate enough to set myself up with a good job. I didn’t get any help.

“I started an online appeal in the hope to help an ex squaddie rebuild their life and have confidence again.
“I know what it’s like to be ex-military, they need that helping hand and I think more needs to be done to help.

Chris says he "doesn't want any money" from the flat
Chris says he “doesn’t want any money” from the flat

 

“Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. I suffered from PTSD years ago and it’s something that you need to work on. By not having to worry about accommodation and a job can only help that.

“It’s not about how hard you are hit but how hard you get back up.

“Not only am I offering accommodation but I could potentially give them a job too, maybe as a laborer for my company. I’m just really willing to help the individual out to help them get back on their feet again.

“If the council end up paying their rent, they can keep it, I don’t want any money from it.

Chris’s gesture received widespread praise from friends and complete strangers.

The ad which has attracted so much attention
Chris says he is “overwhelmed” by the response

 

Gareth Evans wrote: “Chris, you don’t know me.I saw your post through many mutual friends, I think you are an inspiration pal. Thanks. I am an ex Royal Marine…was shot in Baghdad….but I finally came through my own hell. All the very best pal, proud of you mate.”

Richy Todd told Chris: “Long time no speak mate. How you doing? Well done for offering your flat up. Very honourable and damn right decent.”

And Theresa Avey told him: “You are doing a great thing really don’t know why our government won’t help ex-squaddies. I have every respect for them keep up the great work.”

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