Trinady and Damian's Family Story
Damian grew up in Omaha, but the Army brought him to Fort Carson – and eventually to his family. He met Trinady through a friend. At the time, she attended college in her hometown of Alamosa, but her school didn’t have the program she wanted. So she decided to move to Colorado Springs, both for her education and to be closer to Damian.
They soon married, and a few months later, they learned Trinady was pregnant – with twins! “It was such a surprise to me and also to my husband,” says Trinady. “I called him while he was out training, and he didn’t believe me that we were having two kids until he had seen the ultrasound picture.”
Their daughters, Analise and Ember, are now two, and both parents are excited about raising them in their new Pikes Peak Habitat home.
“We want what is best for our kids so they can grow up in a stable home and enjoy their childhood as much as possible,” says Trinady. She anticipates “my girls being able to play in a backyard!” and adds, “I’m excited for them to be able to run around and not be worried about anything.”
Damian agrees: “I’m looking forward to giving the girls a better future, giving them a home instead of rooms.”
After his military service ended, he took a job as a delivery driver while Trinady completes her master’s degree in criminal justice and national security intelligence. She explained that her education is a priority to her because “I want to show my girls that no matter what, you can always do what you are passionate about as long as you set your mind to it,” she says.
They rented an apartment but had to move because of flooding, then had to move again due to water leaks. The family now lives in a low-income apartment that’s both unsafe and unhealthy.
“We had people trying to break our doors down in the middle of the night; we’ve had some people trying to kick it in,” Trinady explains. “We’ve had mold that continues to come back and grow in our apartment, and my girls have been sick for a long time.”
In addition to those problems, one of the girls has been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, which has meant a lot of medical appointments.
“I’m just excited to get out of what we’re in now, [into] a more healthy environment!” says Trinady.
She views sweat equity as an investment in her family’s future and a legacy for her daughters. “You’re putting that effort in, and you’ll really appreciate it later,” she says. “Hopefully my girls will understand later that we put in the work for it, and it was great for all of us.”
They both express appreciation for the opportunities they found through Damian’s military service.
“It was a good experience, for the most part,” he says. “I enjoyed serving my time.”
Trinady agrees. “I’m really thankful that he had the opportunity to be in the military, because it was a good support for us, and I met a lot of people through it.” She adds, “If it weren’t for the military, I would have never met my husband and had my two beautiful girls.”
And they’re appreciative of the many people – volunteers, donors, and other community members — who come together to make the Veterans Build possible.
“Thank you,” says Damian. “You’re doing a good deed. It’s for a good cause.” He adds, “There’s a lot of military people that need it. A lot of people get out of the military, and they don’t know where to go…and so they either end up on the streets or just working bad jobs or just not doing anything with their lives.”
“We as a family are thankful,” says Trinady. “Not a lot of veterans get this kind of opportunity. Changing from being a soldier to being a civilian and working a regular job can be tough, and lots of veterans struggle to find their feet once out of the military. So helping veterans and their families is so amazing, and we are so thankful as well to all those who are willing to help.”
About Veterans Build
Veterans Build is Habitat for Humanity’s national initiative to provide housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities to U.S. veterans, military service members and their families.
As an official Veterans Build Affiliate with Habitat for Humanity International, Pikes Peak Habitat is part of a national effort to not only provide affordable and decent homes for men and women who have served but also join a larger voice advocating for the needs of our veterans and their families.