A closer look at life in the Village: An Interview with Retired Army Specialist Ouintin Muirhead and his family
The Muirhead family were honored and surprised in San Antonio, TX when they received news that they would receive a home from Chase and Operation Homefront. They have been residing in the S.A. Village for the past nine months. We recently sat down and spoke with the family about their experience in the village and how they were gearing up for their upcoming move.
“I recommend that anyone who has the chance to take advantage of the opportunity to live in the village, do it! It has been a positive life changing experience for me and my family,” said Retired Army Specialist Quintin Muirhead.
Quintin served in the Army for three years and did a tour in Iraq. During his tour he suffered traumatic injuries including nerve damage and various side effects. Currently, he is battling leukemia which is in remission. The Muirhead family were very happy to move into the village and Jennifer (his wife) began working at the San Antonio Family Endeavors Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf as a Childcare Specialist. With stable housing in place, the family was able to participate in some of the programs that the S.A. Village has to offer.
“Jennifer took the Zumba class which was a lot of fun. We also went to marriage counseling, met with a financial planner and I attended the BEITZ group weekly meetings. Meeting with a financial planner was a great help to us and taught us a lot about where our money was going. We learned the term “Rolling your money over.” This means paying off the bill that is due first or has the highest interest. Moving into the village helped us to free up extra money and pay off our debt faster, said Quintin”
The Muirhead family eliminated $9,000 worth of debt during their nine-month stay at the village. They even paid their car off a whole year in advance. All that extra money will really help being new home owners as they relocate to Katy, TX.
“We are really going to miss San Antonio as it’s a community that supports military and their families. We have made a lot of great friends at the Village and gained so much from our experience here. When you have the kind of support that we have in this community you can heal a lot faster, focus on your treatment and getting better. It’s rare to find an organization that allows staff to interact with soldiers. They open up to you and it kind of forces us to open up too," said Quintin.
I asked Quintin what he enjoyed most about life at the Village and he spoke about the BEITZ groups (Bring Everyone In The Zone). The BEITZ group concept is to have a trained facilitator that is a few steps ahead of the attendees in successfully dealing with life transition. The facilitator leads the group as a traffic cop, and make sure they stay on time, stick to a chosen topic, and everyone has a safe environment in which to share.
“The BEITZ group allows you to be yourself and say what’s on your mind. Talk about trauma, deployment and readjusting to civilian life. You get to hear from other soldiers and the advice you get you can take anywhere in life and it comes from soldiers going through the same struggles," said Quintin.
As the Muirhead family load up their U-haul and hit the road for Katy, TX, we wish them safe travels and much happiness in their new home.