MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One Marine Veteran is thankful the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans helped him and his family during a very difficult time this year.

Kyle Peltier was playing with his children on a playground in North Minneapolis when they were hit by an SUV that was being chased by the Minnesota State Patrol. Three of Kyle’s children were hurt, two critically.

For four years, Kyle Peltier served his country. The Marine completed two tours of duty in Iraq.

“I was an infantry rifleman in an infantry battalion. I was deployed to Iraq twice dealing with counter insurgency,” Peltier said. “Going over there, kicking down doors, taking care of the bad guys and coming home.”

Six months after leaving the military, he married Nicolle and they started a family. It wasn’t long before they fell on hard times. They were homeless and living out of their van.

It was during a visit to the VA hospital in Minneapolis that Kyle learned about MACV. The organization put the family in a hotel until they found somewhere for them to call home.

“(They) made sure I got to work OK, gave me the resources through gas cards, food cards to go to the grocery store, everything we could ever need came through MACV,” Kyle Peltier said.

The family made it through a rough spot not knowing tougher times were still ahead.

“I got the call that there had been a horrible accident,” Nicolle Peltier said.

A high-speed chase through North Minneapolis on June 11 would change their lives forever. State troopers chased an SUV as it made its way into a park where Kyle Peltier was playing with his children. Kayden Peltier was run over by the SUV, and his 4-year-old sister Lillianna was hurt too. Their brother Kooper escaped with minor injuries.

While Kayden recuperated, Nicolle and Kyle learned their family was growing — Killian was born five months after the accident.

“He was born with something called an omphalocele,” Nicolle Peltier said. “It means the organs are on the outside of his body — his liver, his bowel, and inside this bump on his belly.”

Killian also has two holes in his heart. Not only will he need open heart surgery to fix his heart defect, he’ll need another surgery to pull his abdomen walls back together.

“It’s just been a bad year for us, as far as Kayden’s hospitalization and his initial hospitalization just very stressful year,” Kyle Peltier said.

Kyle and Nicolle say without MACV, this family may not have recovered from all that went wrong.

“I think that I am blessed in so many ways imaginable,” Nicolle Peltier said. “I’m glad that we have MACV to help us because if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here.”

Now this couple has eight children, from 8 years old to newborn — four boys and four girls.

“Eight is enough,” Nicolle Peltier said. “We are really thankful for MACV being an instrumental help in not being homeless and being able to get on our feet again.”

The Peltiers say they now only focus on the positive, and are thankful for Kayden’s recovery and to have him home again.

“We were told that he wasn’t going to walk, he wasn’t going to talk,” Nicolle Peltier said. “Not everybody has that guardian angel. (It’s) probably one of the best blessings that Kyle has gotten from the military.”

Reg Chapman