The late Harry Bridgwood was instrumental in the early days of HOPE, generously donating the office space for our New York office and steadfastly supporting our warriors throughout his life. His story is also intertwined with another one of our longtime friends, John Phelps.​

Harry was looking for an artist to sculpt the awards for the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza annual honoree ceremony when he came across artist John Phelps. They connected over the commission for the awards, but that connection led to a deeper friendship between two Vietnam veterans sharing their experiences and love for our country. When John’s son Chance was killed in 2004, Harry was there as a source of support for John and connected him to HOPE.​

John was able to share the story of Chance’s journey back home, along with Lt. Col. Strobl’s firsthand account of that journey. This story was pitched to Bill Nelson, a member of HOPE’s Board of Directors and the CEO of HBO at the time, and ultimately that story was turned into “Taking Chance” – an HBO film starring Kevin Bacon as Lt. Col. Strobl that showcased the story of Chance’s journey back home.​

Each of these stories we’ve shared has been an important moment in the larger story of HOPE, but it has been special to watch the lives of our friends, supporters, and family members intertwine in the healing journey, as Harry’s and John’s did.