Veteran still thankful despite hard times

November 27, 2010 5:24:41 AM PST
A Moore County couple says they have found blessings to be thankful for midst their troubles.Veteran Michael McRae says he has a lot he has been worrying about between his health, paying bills and getting evicted. But he says he has even more to be thankful for.

"I've just been dealing with being sick," McRae said. "And when I see God using people to bless other people that really lifts my spirits."

After nine years in the Army, McRae worked as a custodian for the Moore County school system, then he went to work for a local golf course. But in March he was fired and his unemployment was denied.

"I could see it if he was a drug addict or a drunkard, but he just got sick," McRae's wife Catherine McRae said.

McRae was diagnosed with diabetes and later had three heart attacks. His wife says her husband's application for disability is bogged down in government paper work and in the meantime, the bills piled up.

The McRae's lost their house and have lived in a one bedroom apartment since March. They say a lot of doors have been closed in their faces, including local social service workers who turned down their request for emergency assistance.

Two months ago, their lights were cut off and the power company wanted $350 to restore the power. So, they cooked on an outdoor grill and used candles. But this week the couple worked out a deal to pay part of the electric amount.

They had to use half of next month's rent to pay down the bill, and the pair say they don't know what they are going tell the landlord.

The couple have lost almost everything except their hope and faith.

"I am happy and peaceful and God has blessed people that come in and helped us with life," McRae said.

The McRae's say there are blessings behind their troubles. Michael McRae has been honored at the school where he used to work, and some friends and relatives have pitched in to help where they can.

"Sometimes you don't know what you will go thru so you can help someone else you never know," Catherine McRae said.

The McRae's say before they lost their house earlier this year, they operated a small church food bank from their home. They say they hope to resume that once they get back on their feet.

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