Once lost, now found: One local veteran’s LnFY success story

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Nathaniel “Nathan” Martin, 24, explains training logistics to a new volunteer at Lost n Found Thrift and Consignment Store.

After the United States military defaulted on their typical false-promises of Veteran’s assistance and support to the new Vets they casually toss into the world without a safety net, military Network Engineer Nathaniel “Nathan” Martin, 24, found himself jobless, broke and homeless – only six months after returning home to Atlanta from Afghanistan in 2014.

 

Martin enlisted in the military in 2010 at the age of 18, right after graduating high school.

Martin makes the best of the resources around him, creating an atmosphere more suited to an impromptu “business meeting” amidst an array of previous donations and a wall of boxes.

 

“When I got out of the military, I really didn’t get a chance to get my feet under me,” Martin said. “It was like, ‘‘Okay, go! And don’t look back!’”

 

For six months, Nathan actively sought employment, but had no luck landing a job.

 

“The only thing that [the military] really showed you when getting out of the military was how to build a resume,” Nathan explained. “That’s about it. They don’t try to help you find a job or anything like that.”

 

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Martin’s hands, skillfully trained by the United States military in Network Engineering, instead currently mark inventory sheets and intake forms at the non-profit thrift store benefitting Lost n Found , who was there for him when his country turned her back on him after he risked his life to protect her freedom.

 

While actively seeking employment, Nathan also volunteered for a non-profit organization called Lost-n-Found Youth, whose mission is to provide assistance – everything from a meal to a temporary place to stay- to Atlanta’s ever-growing population of homeless LGBT youth.

 

So when his car –which had been doubling as his “home”- was repossessed due to nonpayment, the then 23-year-old suddenly became one of the kids he had been volunteering to help.

 

A good soldier, Martin proudly wears his military dog tags close to his heart, despite being failed by the Army and the Office of Veterans Affairs.

 

“At the time I was volunteering some for Lost-n-Found, so I just kinda made the switch to being in the program,” Martin said.

Within a few days, Nathan gratefully became the newest resident of Lost-n-Found Youth, and the newest employee of Lost-n-Found Thrift and Consignment.

 

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SATURDAY, APR. 11, 2015: Martin’s military training comes through, as he pays close attention to details, and customers, alike.

 

“If it weren’t for [Lost-n-Found Youth], I’d probably be out on the streets,” he said. “It gave me a chance to get my feet back underneath me; and it’s hard to get into the V.A.’s program.”


 

As reported by U.S.A. Today in late 2014, backlogged cases and long wait times are still looming over the heads of many of our V.A. hospitals. 

 

 

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