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Giving Back: ‘Helping Our Heroes’ Assists a Gulf War Veteran and His Family

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Helping Our Heroes-a group that assists Illinois military personnel struggling with housing issues and created by the Realtor Association of Northwest Chicagoland's (RANWC) Charitable Foundation-recently received a call about a veteran's
family in need.

Chairperson Laura Perlman quickly responded to the situation. College-educated, U.S. Army veteran Harlin Neal and his family had been facing some treacherous times over the last few years, ultimately ending up in the loss of their home.

Neal, 34, had been living in a homeless shelter for nine months with his wife and three young children. He eventually got a job that provided a salary and benefits, but had a difficult time commuting to work in his broken vehicle. "You never believe that this situation could happen to you and your family," says Neal.

Thanks to the assistance of his local RANWC Headquarters in Arlington Heights, the Neal family is now in their own apartment. Furthermore, thanks to Grossinger Autoplex and Kup's Purple Heart Foundation through its board member, 1985 Chicago Bear Dennis McKinnon, they also now have an Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan.

RANWC showed special appreciation to two of its own members, Jason Palermo, broker/owner of RE/MAX Vision I in Elmwood Park and RE/MAX Vision II in River North, and Tigi Tasso of the Vicki Melonas Team from RE/MAX 10 in Homer Glen. They both generously donated their time and commissions to the Neal family, in addition to negotiating the apartment lease in only a couple days.

Helping Our Heroes has demonstrated to the local Realtor community that by joining hands, anything can be accomplished. It's important to say "thank you" and give back in a sense to the selfless, brave men and women who serve our country.

Neal's words as he gave Perlman a big bear hug goodbye that afternoon: "You have no idea what you have given and done for me and my family…"

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