Restored Hope: A Soldier's Story

Restored Hope: A Veteran’s Story

Posted by: kirsten Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized

June
27

At the age of 20 Joey Puleo entered the Air Force and became a flight medic with the 187AES squadron.

Proudly, he served during 911. Joey was literally flying high however something went terribly wrong. After a lengthy illness, he received an honorable medical discharge and soon thereafter, a state of hopelessness began to take its toll on Joey. He spent many hours going from doctor to doctor in Florida and eventually came home to New Mexico in 2016 to be near his family.

When Joey was one year old his family moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. When he was old enough, Joey entered the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell, New Mexico. There he was the captain of the New Mexico team. When on break from school, Joey was a recruiter for NMMI in Rio Rancho and would visit the local high schools to speak to students about NMMI. Joey was also the president of the student body at NMMI. Ambition and enthusiasm were two factors that drove Joey towards success. Needless to say, Joey was doing exceptionally well at NMMI and his parents were extremely proud of him.

Word came to the Staff at St. Felix Pantry that a young disabled veteran who lived just down the road from the Pantry was really depressed and basically isolated himself from society. Joey’s dad told us that Joey liked tea and salsa so volunteers of the Pantry would keep an eye out for those items, prepare a care package and send it to Joey once weekly. After a year had gone by, Joey visited the Pantry to say thank you for caring about him. Joey stated, “St. Felix Pantry has given me so much hope. When I wake up in the morning and now have something to look forward to.” He added, when I am feeling better I want to become a Pantry volunteer.” Today, Joey lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and enjoying his life with his beloved service dog Angel. Joey Puleo is 36 years young and hopefully will soon become a volunteer recruiter for the Pantry much like what he did for NMMI.

To learn how you can volunteer please contact Kevin Kuck, kkuck@stfelixpantry.org or call 505-891-8075

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