Sgt. Robert Clark U.S. Army (Ret.) was pinned underneath a cement slab for several hours after a rocket attack struck his barracks: “I was more scared than anything else. I just wanted to get the hell out of there.” Robert was finally rescued. But his back was torn to shreds. After living with agonizing pain for what seemed like an eternity, Robert underwent surgery to find relief. But the surgery was unsuccessful… Instead of relieving the pain, it caused more. One of Robert’s legs was paralyzed as a result of the procedure. When he woke up and found out what happened, he knew he’d be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Put yourself in Robert’s shoes… One minute you’re walking around freely. The next, you’re completely trapped under a pile of rubble, with cement slabs and wooden beams digging into your back for hours on end. Years later you still feel the pain. And when your only hope for relief — a surgery — ends up in disaster…you lose complete mobility in your leg, putting you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.
You would think Robert suffered enough. But things only got worse… At home, Robert felt just as trapped navigating the narrow doorways and tiny kitchen of his New Jersey home as he did under that pile of rubble. “I smashed into [cabinets], I ruined the stove, the dishwasher; the doorway’s a little bit too small.” The thought that a hero like Robert — who received the Purple Heart — was as immobile as he was should not only make you sad… It should infuriate you! Well me and my family sure felt infuriated! No American hero like Robert deserves to feel as trapped in his own home as he was under that pile of rubble 48 years ago. So we decided to act. My father got in touch with Robert to learn about his situation and find out what his needs were. He just wanted to help him get his freedom back. My heart sank when we saw his kitchen… His cabinet doors were falling off their hinges where he smacked into them with his wheelchair. The doorway to the kitchen was so narrow he couldn’t fit through it without scraping it with his chair and dinging it with his forearm and elbow. The stove was almost non-functional and his refrigerator was on its last legs. Befor
he recently passed away, my incredible dad was a home builder by trade. So he went right work putting a plan together for Robert’s kitchen. Following his death, I couldn’t let Homes for Veterans die with him, so I carry on his work. So the team Dad founded gutted everything and … We removed Robert’s broken down stove; We got rid of his dying refrigerator; We knocked out the cabinets and removed the sink; We ripped up the linoleum floor; We knocked a chunk out of that narrow doorway. And here’s what we replaced it all with… We replaced Robert’s stove and refrigerator with brand new ones that would be easier for him to use; We completely replaced the cabinets and countertops and opened the area underneath his new sink so he could fit closer to it; We widened the doorway so Robert wouldn’t run into the sides anymore, We gave the walls and ceiling a fresh coat of paint; And finally, we replaced the faded yellow linoleum with a skid-resistant, wooden finish. The best decoration Robert has, though, isn’t anything I’ve given him… It’s his Purple Heart plaque that he earned with his blood and sweat. It’s an honor that’s only bestowed on those who show true courage in the face of life-threatening danger.
No veteran, especially those like Robert, should ever be expected to go without the bare minimum after they’ve done so much for you and me. Since my dad started Homes for Veterans ten years ago, me and the team have modified the homes of dozens of veterans for free. We’ve widened doorways and hallways, replaced flooring, installed wheelchair ramps and elevators, refurbished bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, patios and decks — the works! But more importantly, we’ve given veterans back their freedom.
And may I ask one more thing of you… The work we do for veterans is very expensive. For instance, completely refurbishing Robert’s kitchen cost us more than $15,000! And since Home for Veterans is a nonprofit organization, we are completely dependent on the donations we receive from concerned people like you to make these refurbishing possible. Will you send a generous donation of $500, $250, or $100? Your gift will help provide new appliances like a stove, oven, or refrigerator. If that is too much, then would you give $75, $50, $36, or $28? You gift will help pay for things like lumber to enlarge doorways, replace broken cabinets, enlarge the kitchen sink, and install wheelchair-friendly flooring. I can’t tell you how much your generosity will mean to the veterans who hear from you. After all they have done for us, this is the least we can do for them.
"The work we do at Homes For Veterans is very expensive. Your gift will help provide new appliances like a stove, oven, or refrigerator AND help pay for things like lumber to enlarge doorways, replace broken cabinets, enlarge the kitchen sink, and install wheel-chair friendly flooring." Tweet
We join our generous donors in thanking our veterans for the sacrifices they have made. Veterans Day is not just one day a year. It is everyday that we live and breathe as a free nation. We thank you for the tremendous sacrifices you have made to defend us and our freedoms. We thank you for your efforts to safeguard us from foreign threats and keep us safe here at home. We thank you for standing between us and danger.
So many veterans in power chairs need a ramp to get into their home. They need a door widened or other adaptations to their home. Show them how much we appreciate them.
Freedom is NEVER free. Please donate what you can, when you can. Choose an amount you can afford. We humbly thank you.
For more info please call Homes For Veterans at 201.660.8364