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Inspired by a speech that was conducted at Fort Logan Cemetery, I searched for ways to "give back" and help my fellow Veterans in need. ViT - Veterans in Trouble: Your Turn to Serve was born on this day. I spent several years feeling .... well, ashamed. Ashamed for being a Desert Storm Veteran, after knowing how Vietnam Veterans were treated upon returning from war. I finally decided that my circumstances were out of my control, so I might as well embrace it and do something to help my fellow Combat Veterans.
During the month of June, we sponsored "Fast Eddie". Eddie is a 100% disabled Combat Veteran. He was having financial problems and was about to lose his house. On top of that, his wheelchair ramp had been recently vandalized. On June 28, 2014, we presented Fast Eddie with a check for $1,400 (which prevented foreclosure). We also had time, labor and materials donated by an local construction company, who rebuilt his wheelchair ramp.
We began July with an Independence Day promotion that matched every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $500. This was in part to an anonymous donor. Happy to say that we easily maxed out the $500. Thank you all!!
This month, we sponsored a Combat Veteran named Nelson. Nelson is a retired soldier, with 20 years of Honorable service. He and his wife were involved in a car accident in 2006 ~ resulting in several surgeries. Without being able to work, they lost almost everything and bills were beginning to pile up. On August 2nd, we presented Nelson and his wife with a check in the amount of $2,000. What an emotional day for all involved.
I received an email this morning and read it .... devastatingly. I touched base via phone with a Veteran, who is originally from the Fort Morgan area. He is in dire need. We will be dropping what we are doing for the time being to help this individual. I cannot do this without your assistance, though. Please consider donating to help him out. I know for a fact that some .... if not most of my fellow Mustangs know him/of him. He does not have a Facebook account, but I'm working on convincing him to create one .... or at least letting me use his name. We Veterans are a stubborn, prideful bunch.
What a great day for all of us, our donors and our sponsors. I am happy to report the following for our sponsored Veteran: This process started on 9/30/14. Since then, we helped our homeless Veteran obtain his birth certificate, social security card and ID/Driver's License. Thanks to a free haircut from Sports Clips and a suit donated by Men's Wearhouse, our Veteran landed a job with Coca-Cola ... AND IS ENJOYING HIS FIRST DAY OF WORK TODAY!! Also today, we sent a check totaling a whopping $3,305. This money will be used to purchase a cheap used car and first month's rent in a new apartment. None of this would be possible without the assistance of our donors, sponsors and the VFW. A very special shout-out to my fellow Veteran and friend RJ, who opened his door to our sponsored Veteran and has been my "boots on the ground" point of contact during this entire endeavor. Love you, my brother. I couldn't have done any of this, without all of you.
Thanks to Ta Sha Marie, who runs Davey Jones Fireworks in Denver. Tasha has generously donated three fireworks family packs to ViT. Anyone who donates during the month of June is eligible for the drawing. The raffles will take place on June 19th for the Monster pack ($116 value) and June 26th for the Pyro Blast pack ($119 value). Beginning June 27th and ending July 3rd, we will auction off The King pack ($120 value) to the highest bidder. Please visit her Facebook page Davey Jones Fireworks or any of her 12 Denver area locations for all your fireworks needs. The winner of the June 19th drawing was Melanie Gonzales. The two remaining prizes went to "Anonymous" donors.