The milestones of HOPE’s History that we’ve shared over the past 2 weeks are all important parts of the larger story of HOPE, but what’s even more important are the individual stories of those we’ve served. Since 2006, we’ve had the privilege of serving over 100,000 individuals – that’s 100,000 journeys we’re blessed to be a part of.

One such story is that of Colin Smith, a Marine Corps veteran who suffered from a traumatic brain injury after being wounded by an IED. Upon coming home from his deployment in Iraq, his parents were told that Colin would never walk or talk again. Colin’s father Bob refused to believe in that outcome and remained by Colin’s side throughout his recovery in the hospital and after he returned home. 

Because Colin needed around-the-clock care, Bob was acting not only as his father and caregiver, but also as his financial and life planner, as he quickly saw the need for Colin’s future care and living situation if something were to happen to him.

As a part of our Warrior’s Wish program, we were able to grant Colin a home where he could continue to receive the care he needed. Despite the initial prognosis of the doctors, Colin continued to recover and 3 years after his injury, he participated in our 2009 Jacksonville Run For The Warriors! Bob Smith has since passed away, but his story is a testament to the unconditional love of a father for his son and how important that love is in the healing process.