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The gift Arnold Schwarzenegger gave veterans for Christmas

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

@schwarzenegger/Instagram | Backgrid/East News

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/09/22

The former actor and governor of California has a message that resonates all year round.

During the Christmas season we’re used to seeing former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on our screens in familiar family favorites such as Jingle All the Way. This year, however, you might have seen him in the news for something else: playing a real-life Santa when he generously gifted some of Los Angeles’ vulnerable veterans with a roof over their heads.

The 74-year-old former governor of California shared the news on Twitter, stating: “Today, I celebrated Christmas early. The 25 homes I donated for homeless veterans were installed here in LA. It was fantastic to spend some time with our heroes and welcome them into their new homes.

At the same time, Schwarzeneggerwas quick to tweet his gratitude to the organizations that lend a much-needed hand to ex- military personnel:

“I want to thank @VillageforVets for arranging the homes, @SecVetAffairs, @AMVETSHQ
and everyone who talked with us and worked with us and made this possible. We proved that when we all work together, we can solve any problem.”

According to Fox 11, Schwarzenegger contributed $250,000 to the Village for Vets organization who were then able to provide 25 homes to the veterans just before Christmas Day.

On their website, the charity explains that these small homes “provide an elevated standard of living from tent encampments while veterans are on their journey to find permanent housing and stability.”

While the shelters are nice and compact, according to an AMVets employee, they come complete with electricity, heating, and air-conditioning.

In a follow-up tweet, Schwarzenegger, who is the dad-of-five, encouraged others to give at Christmas, even if it’s just “a few minutes of your time to help someone else.”

A lifesaver

In the same tweet we also got to hear more about the issue, and how one the recipients, Bruce Henry Cooper, described his new home as a “lifesaver for me.” He also shared how Schwarzenegger had “not forgotten us. Not forgotten anybody.”

Makes us think a little of the former action hero’s unforgettable line in The Terminator: “I’ll be back”!

Thankfully, the former Mr. Olympia is a man of his word, as the weather-tight homes are a far-cry from the former tents these veterans were occupying on the streets of West LA — some for many years — where they were plagued by squirrels and rats.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger)

On the day the veterans were gifted their homes, Schwarzenegger brought along his son Patrick to share in the occasion. As Patrick said,

“We owe everything to our veterans, you know, they’ve sacrificed their lives, their familyhood, their futures for us and for our freedom.”

Schwarzenegger has no doubt passed along his love of country to his children. He said he was ecstatic to “give something back to this country that means everything to me.”

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