John’s involvement with Hero’s Bridge began with groceries.

He was still living independently in the house he shared with his wife for over three decades but was no longer able to drive. The couple’s daughter was 45 minutes away, making it difficult to help with small, everyday tasks.

He was referred to Hero’s Bridge through another Hero’s Bridge volunteer and began receiving ready-to-eat meals.

Since that first chicken and teriyaki dish, John’s involvement with Hero’s Bridge has expanded to include transportation to doctor’s appointments and the Battle Buddy program which paired John with a veteran-centric volunteer. The two hit it off famously and she picked him up weekly for grocery runs.

With help from other volunteers, John began attending the Hero’s Bridge excursions. These monthly field trips not only bring veterans to areas of interest within the region but also fight isolation by encouraging veterans to socialize with other veterans. The excursions have taken veterans to the Air and Space Museum, the Army Museum, the Air Force Museum, Verdun Adventure Bound, Messick’s Farm, Yoder’s Farm Market, and even the Safari Park.

Now 91, we can’t help but wonder how John will continue to maintain his 2,500-square-foot home and 30-acre property.

At Hero’s Bridge, we hope that The Village, a community of cottages for our most marginalized veterans, will be available for John and veterans like him when the time comes that he and they can no longer live independently.

In The Village, there will be someone available to care for John when he needs it.

Your donation during this year’s Give Local Piedmont will help Hero’s Bridge build The Village for John and other aging veterans like him.