Marine Veteran's Family In Need, Without Beds - Fox 2 News Headlines

Marine Veteran's Family In Need, Without Beds

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PHILADELPHIA -

Anthony Saunders doesn't want to sound ungrateful.

"They did a good job with that, because we were at wit's end," Saunders says of the Veterans Administration financial support that pays the rent on his family's modest row house in Philadelphia's Frankford section.

"We really didn't have any place to go," Saunders says.

It's what's inside the home that troubles the 47-year-old former Marine rifleman.

Forced to rely on private donations, the Saunders' home is a hodgepodge of used furniture.

Clothing is stuffed into plastic bags. There's nowhere else to put it.

And bedding? His children sleep on mattresses on the floor.

Deyannara is 5. Dante, who lost both feet to surgery shortly after birth, is nearly 3. 

Says Anthony's wife Takisha, diplomatically, "I know things could be better and the bed situations could be better."

Saunders says he has no regrets, "none, whatsoever," about his four-year stint in the Marines that ended in 1992.

But, "When I came home, my job was gone. I had to start over again." 

Saunders has mostly spent the 20-plus years since then under-employed and jobless. More recently, he needed spinal fusion surgery.

His back problems are made worse by the futon that poses as a bed for him and his wife. 

"It's like, right on the floor," he tells Fox 29s Bruce Gordon. "There's no cushion, there's no support. So, it's terrible. It's agonizing, actually."

But the greatest pain, he says, comes from watching his kids sleep on the floor, as they await help from a veterans' support group.

He says they've been on a waiting list for beds since March, with no end in sight.

Takisha is optimistic that help will arrive. 

"We're in a rough spot now and ... it'll work out," she says. "It'll work out for the best."

 Anthony is not so sure.

"It's one thing for me to suffer. I can deal with it, you know? I'm an adult," he says. "I can deal with it, but they deserve better than this." 

The Saunders family also includes an 18-year old son. He, too, sleeps on a mattress on the floor.

If you'd like to help the family get some decent beds, or know of a veterans' support group that could help, email us at fox29.newsdesk@foxtv.com.

Remember, we sleep better each night, because of our veterans.

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