Spending time together is one of the best ways to create strong family ties. It forms trust, fosters open communication, and has even been found to improve mental health and reduce stress. Wanting to continue building his connection with his children, Leonard Vigil applied to HOPE’s Warrior’s Wish Program in 2020. He requested a new computer for his family to use, as their old one did not have the proper hardware to accommodate specific software. With their new computer fully up and running, Leonard and his family are excited to share what this wish has done for their family and what projects they have in the works!
In 2001 at 19 years old, Leonard watched his friends go off to college but knew he wanted to take a different path. Having a desire to serve his country and craving both structure and discipline, Leonard joined the United States Marine Corps. One week after completing his training as an infantryman and being assigned to his unit at Camp Pendleton, California, the devastating events of 9/11 took place.
In response to that tragic day, Leonard was deployed to Iraq for 10 months during his last year in the Marine Corps. While defending our nation’s freedoms overseas, he was struck by enemy forces and sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury, which greatly affected his memory capability.
After returning home from deployment, Leonard left the Marine Corps and started his new journey. He met his wife and pursued his education, receiving a bachelor’s degree in child development and a master’s degree in social services. He currently dedicates his time to their two children Lydia and Luke. All Leonard has accomplished would not have been possible without his support system on the home front.
“My wife has supported our family a lot through all of this,” said Leonard. “I don’t think I would have been as successful without her. She has played a vital role in keeping us together.”
A strong family unit is essential to service members and veterans’ mental and physical well-being. HOPE understands this firsthand, as our organization was founded by military families who witnessed the unique challenges their loved ones faced both during and after service. From this understanding, our team developed programs and services designed to take a 360° approach to well-being, acting as a support system for the military community. This holistic approach is what drew Leonard to HOPE.
“I came across HOPE two years ago as I was looking online to see what benefits were offered to combat wounded veterans,” said Leonard. “I do a lot of research on nonprofits that help veterans, and Hope For The Warriors really stood out to me.”
HOPE was honored to grant Leonard’s wish for a new HP ENVY All-In-One 32-a1050 computer after hearing his story of service, sacrifice, and family! This computer has not just impacted Leonard but has been instrumental in helping his daughter pursue her passions. Lydia is an aspiring author and is using the computer to work on her first book, which already has 290 pages completed! She also aims to produce all the illustrations and design for the book, which is where the computer has been extremely beneficial.
“Before with my smaller computer, it lagged with some of the simplest tasks, but this one runs really smooth,” said Lydia. “It is great for large projects, and I have been able to download different animation and drawing programs.”
Lydia is working on her book and stays busy participating in taekwondo, getting straight A’s in school, and playing the guitar. Using her musical gift, Lydia and Leonard have also been working together to record some of her music on the computer to combine that with her storytelling!
“We have all the programs downloaded, and we hope to be more efficient in creating music and animation,” said Leonard. “We hope to start producing some things very soon. The computer is extremely fast and large, so Lydia and I can sit next to each other and work on it together.”
The Warrior’s Wish Program is designed to create a better quality of life for the military families who have selflessly sacrificed for our great nation. We are honored to be a part of this new chapter for Leonard and his family and can’t wait to see all the amazing projects they put together with their new computer!
HOPE’s Warrior’s Wish Program is proud to transform the lives of service members and their families. Since the program’s inception, Warrior’s Wish has granted over 226 wishes totaling more than $1 million in grants. This would not be possible without our generous donors and partners who help us to continue to give back to our warrior community. Please click here to learn more about Warrior’s Wish and how you can get involved or apply!