OGDEN, Utah -- A disabled Gulf War veteran moved into his new Habitat for Humanity house in Ogden on Saturday morning.
“I spent the past 20 years since getting out living in a camp trailer, a little 24-foot camp trailer, traveling from place to place without an address,” said Travis Parsons.
Parsons spent years struggling to find his place in society after his service ended.
“For the longest time I felt like a total outsider in the world," he said. "I went from a point of going to work, coming home, going to bed, waiting to die. That’s what I did day in, day out."
He found new purpose after enrolling at Weber State University. Parsons started working with veteran student services. Part of his job was helping connect vets with services, including housing. It led to an opportunity for Parsons to start working on his own home with Habitat for Humanity.
“Right now everything is surreal, it hasn’t really even sunk in,” said Parsons sitting outside his new home on Saturday.
Weber State students and faculty donated more than 1,000 hours of labor on the effort to build and design the home.
Parsons is two years away from graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, with plans to work at Hill Air Force Base after graduation. His success has left him with a message for other veterans.
“Don't give up," he said. "There are lots of resources available for you. All you have to do is reach out and try."