How We Started…
Over twenty years ago while volunteering at a nursing home I was introduced to a resident named Ron. He was very thin with brown hair and light blue eyes. He looked extraordinarily young, too young in fact, to be in a nursing home. As I sat next to him and tried to engage in conversation, he simply rocked back and forth as he sat on the edge of his bed. He looked straight ahead and did not speak, he continued to rock with his hands clasped tightly together. At one point while speaking to him, he stopped and turned to look my way, then the moment passed and he continued looking straight ahead, all the while rocking.
I soon said good-bye and left his room, later inquiring why someone so young was in a place where so many had such a short time to live. I soon learned that Ron was a Vietnam Veteran. He had served his country, and upon his return, he did not get the help he needed to adjust back to his life at home. His wife and children could not cope and they soon left. Ron was then moved into the nursing home. He would be there for the rest of his life.
This was one of the most influential days of my life. I did not realize it at the time; it has been quite a journey since that day to get where we are today. There is such gratitude in my heart for having the privilege of knowing Ron. Our meeting was pure chance, only for a few minutes, but it changed my life.
Unfortunately, we still have many Veterans like Ron that struggle with adjusting back to civilian life upon their return home. This has resulted in thousands of homeless Veterans and Veterans needing a bit of help getting back on their feet. This is why we started Veteran Support Alliance (formerly The Imagine Project) — to ensure that when our Veterans move into their own home, they have a bed and basic needs. To ensure they know they are supported, they are appreciated and we are forever grateful for their sacrifice. It’s now time, we take care of them.