Once homeless veteran who lived in the woods for 11 years gets permanent home

BOSTON — A once homeless Navy veteran who was living in the woods for 11 years finally has a permanent place to call his own.

Boston 25 News met John DeGraff in January when a veterans group told us about his living conditions in the woods of Boston.

Dom Marcellino and Mike McNulty of Disabled and Limbless Veterans found John and worked for weeks to get him out of the woods and into transitional housing.

"We had to coax John out of the woods. He wasn't ready to come out yet and it took us a couple of weeks, he finally came around," said Marcellino.

He was placed in temporary housing, but now has a permanent apartment of his own and thanks to the group, Operation Adopt-A-Soldier, it's fully furnished.

"It's just a rewarding feeling to be able to give back to somebody who sacrificed so much for our country," said Denise Woolf.

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For DeGraff, the days of living outside on his own, foraging for food are over, thanks to these volunteers who would not leave him behind.

"It makes me feel totally blessed," he said.

DeGraff told Boston 25 News he's looking forward to having some friends over for a barbeque. He's also working to get his driver's license back so he can get a pickup truck and find work as a mason.

DeGraff tells us he's really looking forward to the future.