A Milan veteran who served three tours in Iraq can take a much-deserved, comfortable rest on his new furniture thanks to a non-profit organization.

Air Force veteran Paul McCarthy was thankful that Sofas for Service helped furnish his home on Saturday.

​”The feeling you get when you get help as a veteran …  because sometimes you struggle when you come back,” he said. “I have three tours in Iraq and to come back and get this kind of support is very overwhelming for us and our family.” 

​Sofas for Service brought three news beds for his boys.  

“They brought a chest, a freezer, a couch, a dining room table. I literally had a television and an office chair in here and now I have a full three-bedroom house furnished.” 

​People thank veterans in different ways, McCarthy said.  

“There are certain people who will fly their flag and say we appreciate veterans,” he said. “And then there’s someone who stops and makes sure that veterans are helped and people like Pete and his company, they make sure that we are alright.” 

Pete Hestekin, Sofas for Service founder and president, is a former search-and-rescue pilot for the Civil Patrol. He is not a veteran, but it bothered him to see veterans placed in subsidized housing with no furniture while he was with the Civil Patrol.

“The veterans gave so much. They risked everything,” Hestekin said. “Even the lowliest cook at Fort Bragg could be cooking in a tent in Afghanistan in three days. He’s still risking his life. They have given everything for us so that we have the ability to have our freedoms.” 

Sofas for Service, of Eau Claire, Wis., was founded in 2016. It served 82 veterans in 2020 and 30 so far in 2021. Most of the furniture veterans receive is donated.

McCarthy is the first veteran they have served in Illinois.

To find out more about Sofas for Service, visit HTTPS://SOFASFORSERVICE.COM/