Veterans Find Help and Opportunity at Pasco Support Center

ABC Action News – Eric Waxler, Reporter – Thursday, April 4, 2024


PASCO COUNTY — Christina Goodwin’s post-Army life hasn’t been easy.

“I was just kind of existing. I was struggling. I couldn’t find a place to work. I couldn’t do anything and the stresses of everyday life,” said Goodwin.

Christina says those stresses were exacerbated by trauma from her time in the Army and drug addiction.

“I finally said I needed something better. I can’t keep living like this,” she said.

That’s when she found help from Pasco County’s One Community Now and its Veteran’s Support Center.

It’s a place where veterans can get direction in life and the resources they need to get back on their feet.

Army Veteran Stephen Petrosino is the director and says many who come are homeless. “It tugs at your heart. It tugs at my heart a bit. I’m red, white, and blue through. Nothing I can do about that so what I do here is God’s blessing. It’s a blessing for me to continue serving,” said Petrosino.

The biggest event One Community Now holds for veterans is Operation Stand Down on April 19th and 20th. All in one place, veterans can find everything from medical help to hair cuts, and even a special veterans court.

“Just in all a morale booster. And the thing is a lot of veterans don’t know what’s out there to help them,” said Petrosino.

Christina’s situation is getting better. She says she’s been clean for 15 months, has a new job, and will be at Stand Down as a volunteer.

“I love the life I have now versus what I had before. And I just keep going and try to help everybody,” said Goodwin.

For more information on Operation Stand Down go to

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