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Cooling the Summer Heat: A Veteran's Tale of Resilience

Facing financial constraints and the impending summer heat can evoke a profound sense of defeat for parents striving to provide a comfortable environment for themselves and their children. The pressure intensifies as the soaring temperatures threaten to exacerbate living conditions, highlighting the urgent need for relief and support during such challenging times. This was the case for Marquita Gaines, a post-9/11 veteran who reached out to Panhandle Warrior Partnership (PWP) under this pressure.

After 22 years of dedicated service in the Air Force, Marquita transitioned to civilian life in 2023. Living in the Florida heat with her two children, Marquita faced an unexpected crisis when her HVAC unit stopped working during the sweltering summer. Without window units to provide relief, she contacted three companies, each telling her that a new unit was necessary and her current one couldn't be repaired.


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This was when a fellow warrior referred her to PWP. Marquita spoke with PWP Case Coordinator Melissa Rust, who connected her with Mills HVAC, a veteran-owned company. Mills HVAC offered to do a free diagnostic on her unit, and to Marquita's immense relief, they said they could fix it, sparing her the cost of a new system. Additionally, they agreed to bill her and let her make payments, ensuring that she and her children could stay comfortably in their home.

"The tech was the nicest person I have met all year. Thank you so much, it was sweltering in here!" - Marquita Gaines, Air Force Veteran

PWP was thrilled to see Marquita breathe a sigh of relief for her and her children and reminded her that if she needed support again, our team was only one call away.


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