National Guardsman helped after apartment fire

By Dana griffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- A Rhode Island Army National Guardsman is getting much needed help after his apartment building catches fire, leaving him with only the clothes on his back. He has a positive outlook despite being homeless for a second time this year.

Private Michael Graichen is shopping for food, but not in the traditional way. The Rhode Island Army National Guardsman lost his home after a suspicious fire Tuesday night. Three others are also out on the street.

Graichen said, “Nobody ever thinks it's going to happen to them and when you get that call or you wake up to that alarm going off and it's like… crap. I don't have any savings going on right now. I haven't been able to save anything up. What do I do?”

Graichen lives pay–check to pay check. He works at a pizza restaurant and one weekend each month for the RI Army National Guard.

This apartment was provided six months ago by Operation Stand Down when he first became homeless.

“Every veteran has made a sacrifice above that which many other Americans make so there's nothing that we're unwilling to do to try to help them when they find themselves in a time of need,” said OSDRI Executive Director, Erik Wallin.

Michael was given a tour of where he'll be staying until he gets back on his feet. It's not much, but he's grateful.

“I thank God for them that they're here to help me out and help others like me,” said Graichen.

Michael will be allowed to stay in the temporary housing until the organization can get funds to relocate him, but because of the government shutdown, they have no idea how long that will take.

Police are still investigating the cause of that fire.

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