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CHARLOTTE, N.C. Lavern Smith can t stop smiling as he looks at the shiny new appliances like the ones that will be going into his new apartment.

He is an Army veteran now in his 50s, who wound up homeless after serving six years in Europe.

The new apartment he is getting comes with the help of a new non-profit agency called Builders of Hope.

Electrolux made a donation of $50,000 worth of kitchen appliances, with the first sets going to Smith and another homeless Charlotte vet.

Smith said, I was just dumbfounded. I couldn t find the words to express how I feel. I mean I have grandchildren and this makes it better for me to attend to them.

Smith said when he left the Army, he struggled when he returned home.

A little difficulty with employment and adjusting to civilian life. It helped lead to a divorce, difficulty adapting, and finances.

He says the new apartment and appliances will be a big help in getting back on his feat.

Crisis Assistance Ministry is working with Electrolux to distribute the appliances.

Tovi Martin of CAM said, Veterans have served and then when they come back they often have so many issues that they are trying to overcome, work through, and manage, that often they do end up in a homeless situation.

For Smith this will be a special Memorial Day weekend, but he will not forget his friends.

Thinking of fallen comrades. Guys domestic and abroad and praying for their wellbeing.
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