Byron Farrington loves to wear his black Stetson hat and cowboy boots. Now, for the first time in a long while, he’s got a closet to put them in at the end of the day.
Formerly homeless, the Army veteran has settled in at his new place at the Victory II Apartments, a newly opened complex on the former campus of Grace University in Omaha. It’s a vast improvement over his former quarters, beneath a downtown bridge.
“I love it. I can sit in the house and watch TV, or look out the window,” said Farrington, pointing to his third-floor apartment.
Former Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, joined by executives from real estate developer Burlington Capital, snipped a broad red ribbon in the apartment’s parking lot at a ceremony Friday afternoon. About 200 people, most in masks and carefully separated, attended the event.
Kelly, who served as secretary of Homeland Security and chief of staff in the Trump administration, noted that very few Americans serve in the military, or even know anyone who does. The people who do step up are special.
“These are incredible people,” he said. “As Americans, we should be so proud they come from our society. And when they need help, we should give it to them.”
Kelly’s son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.