Today we share another Wish that was granted to a veteran in upstate New York. The story surrounding this soldier reminds us how much our service members and their families sacrifice for our country. When a service member deploys, they leave behind their family, friends and entire life. A reservist has even more change in their life. They leave behind another job that many times provides a higher income than their military pay, leaving their family with yet another challenge.
Post 9/11, an Army Reservist was activated and deployed to Iraq. During his deployment, he was injured in combat and sustained a severe head injury. This soldier returned home and began the long process of rehabilitation.
As a reservist, this soldier also owned and operated his own business. During the deployment and long recovery process, he suffered another loss when both his home and business were foreclosed. Now, he was not only injured physically, but emotionally devastated from the financial impact on his family.
As he slowly recovered, he visited a friend’s farm. To his surprise, working with the cattle and horses provided this veteran with some much needed healing. (He is not the first veteran to discover the therapeutic benefits to Equine Therapy and working with animals.)
To continue his rehabilitation, the family purchased an old Amish property in upstate New York with the plan to turn the property into a cattle ranch. However, the farm and farm house required additional work.
Siding work being completed
The Farmer-Veteran Coalition stepped forward to help fund the cattle business for the family. However, it was beyond their mission to finance work that needed to be done to the farm house. Winters in upstate New York are frigid and without proper siding, this veteran and his family would suffer throughout the season.
Hope For The Warriors® was contacted to assist this veteran and his family by paying for the siding to the old farm house. Through our A Warrior’s Wish® program, we granted his Wish so that this family could be together in a warm home.
True to the values of our military members, this veteran has already started giving back to others. He has invited local veterans in his area to the farm so they too can benefit from working with livestock. In the future, he plans to host an Equine Therapy program on his farm, helping veterans to overcome their visible and invisible wounds.
Hope For The Warriors® was proud to work in cooperation with three nonprofit organizations to grant this Wish and support this American hero. We were greatly helped by Michael Banker, our project manager, and his organization, HONORS. Of course, we have already mentioned the Farmer-Veteran Coalition who has helped this family build a productive farm. Finally, the support for this Wish was provided by the Bob Woodruff Foundation.