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Veteran still in need of home after apartment fire

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Vietnam veteran, Terry Ashenbrenner has been on the hunt for a new home after a fire in Dewey destroyed his a couple of weeks ago.

Terry was also diagnosed with cancer just a couple of days before he lost his home on Tuesday, November 23. The fire happened in a four-unit apartment building in the Town of Dewey. That night Ashenbrenner told NewsChannel 7 his landlord kicked open his door and told him to get out of the building.

Since then Ashenbrenner said he’s been jumping from hotel to hotel, all while searching for a permanent place to live. All he said he can do now is take it two steps at a time.

“This is the best place I found so far,” Ashenbrenner said. The Super 8 in Wausau is what he is calling home for the time being. “I don’t have a bed, that went up in flames, my clothes are all in the trunk of my car, froze, because they were wet. So I’m kind of living in and out of my car and the hotel’s room.”

He said everything he has in his life from the past 74 years is all in his car. “This is what life looks like if you got to live out of your car, or live in a motel room, whatever I have in life, I have right here in my car.”

“I tell other people there’s probably people worse off than me, you could probably roll a bowling ball down here and hit somebody that has problems [as] I do,” he said.

Every day he’s calling on his hunt for an apartment. “That was another voice mail, so I’m 0 for 3,” he said, as he found no luck as of Friday.

“I don’t have an address, I’m old school, I don’t have computers or cell phones, I just use an old landline, a very simple life, and there’s no such thing as want ads in the paper no more.”

He said not having an address is often a challenge because he has to travel back to his old address to pick up the medication he needs. All Terry wants to do, is get back up on his feet and start taking care of his health. “Just getting back to a rhythm, you know where my body can function normal and structured.”

He’s a trooper, to say the least. “I’m ready for whatever happens, I got my funeral paid for already, I got all my insurance forms to my nephews, so I got everything squared away but a roof over my head.”

If you are wanting to help Terry, email, brittany.dobbins@gray.tv to get more information on how to contact him.

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