When Field Battle Buddy Sean met Army Veteran James in October 2023, it had been only one year since his wife had died.

James was struggling to keep up with the house and finances while caring for his great-grandson, who was in his custody. With winter approaching, the immediate need was to ensure that James had adequate heat for the imminent colder weather. This need met the requirements for Hero’s Bridge Rapid Relief funds, and Hero’s Bridge was able to fill his oil tank. 

Sean then connected his daughter with the local Department of Social Services, which scheduled a second delivery of oil for when the first ran out. Kate, a member of the Hero’s Bridge team, coordinated with Culpeper-based Bryce Tree, LLC for the delivery of seasoned, cut wood for a backup heat source. 

A month later, having earned more of Sean’s trust, James shared more about his financial situation. He owed money for an outstanding utility bill, which Hero’s Bridge was again able to use Rapid Relief funds for.

Having served boots on the ground in Vietnam for over a year, James had been awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Sean knew that James needed to be connected with VA benefits. He advocated for James during the physical portion of the disability claim and encouraged James to be honest about his ailments and overall health.

Thanks to Sean’s guidance and navigation of VA paperwork, in March 2024, James received a retroactive check from the VA, and moving forward, he will receive a monthly check to live comfortably, safely, and adequately care for his great-grandson.