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August Hero of the Month: Greeley soldier turned foster father

GREELEY, Colo. -- Bruce Tavita spent 12 years in the Army.  He served three tours in Baghdad.

Then he came home to face an entirely new challenge.  He and his wife opened their home to children in need. And that makes him the FOX 31 Problem Solvers Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month.

"We've got three total foster kids right now, we got two boys and one girl," Tavita said.

"Growing up you know as a Samoan, you know we do come from bigger families, and we have bigger backgrounds, so I don't mind take care of kids, you know?"

It's not exactly the quiet life you'd think a veteran would take on, after fighting a war.  But he really likes it.

"It gives me something to do, some responsibility, keeps me busy throughout the day and we love it. We took the kids in and we get to learn different backgrounds of where they come from," Tavita said.

"And I know that's another reason for Hero of the Month.  Because ... not all men want to take care of other people`s children. And I think it's a big, big thing for him," Bruce's wife Jacquelyn said.

Her extended family has helped raise foster children for years, so she knew there was a need.

It's part of the reason Tavita has transformed his life -- and his body -- since leaving the Army three years ago.

"(In) 2014 when I retired, I just kind of let myself go. I was like, you know what, it's time to get back in to shape. I dropped 60 pounds in a matter of three months," Tavita said.

He wanted to set a good example for the children he and Jacquelyn welcomed in to their home. It's the kind of thing a hero does. But Tavita shies away from that title.

"We all know the real heroes are the guys who made the ultimate sacrifice. I'm just a guy who was in the military, served four tours, and was lucky enough to return home and be with his family," Tavita said.

FOX31 was proud to honor Tavita with a plaque, and a $250 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsor, DCP Midstream.

Help find and honor the next Hero of the Month.  Click here to nominate an active duty service member, a veteran, a military family or a volunteer.