By Bob Steele, Senior Project Manager, Engineering
Every year around Veterans Day, CAP Turnouts, CAP’s volunteer committee, partners with Rebuilding Together to honor a veteran in need of home repairs. This year we helped David, a disabled Navy veteran who served in Vietnam.
Army Sergeant Bob Steele serving as a combat
medic during Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” to celebrate the end of World War I. It transitioned into a day to honor all military veterans. The last surviving American veteran of WWI passed away in 2011. There are still more than 600,000 living WWII veterans, and more than 16 million living veterans have served in at least one war.
Sometimes confused with Memorial Day, which is to remember those military members who died in combat, Veterans Day is meant to honor all U.S. veterans, alive or deceased. There are currently more than 21 million veterans in the United States -- about 6.5% of our total population.
Bob Steele volunteering for
CAP Turnouts at the Desert
Mission Food Bank
All that to say, many of you and your neighbors have served in the U.S. military and many have been in combat. I am a combat veteran. I served in Desert Storm with the Army’s 3rd Armored Division. I only tell you of my service so you know I can empathize with other veterans to some degree. Fellow citizens giving a “thank you” or a handshake or a little help around the house is a welcome reminder that our service was worth it and appreciated.
That’s why it’s so gratifying to me that, through CAP Turnouts, we’re able to help a fellow veteran like David. I was able to visit with David, along with other CAP Turnouts members and the Rebuilding Together staff. We toured David’s home and assessed ways to help. As we discussed his needs, David continually thanked us for being there and said, as we asked what else we could do, that the list we were working on was long enough.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, along with 15 other CAP employees and family members, I proudly helped to repaint David’s home, did minor landscaping (clearing and trimming) and performed some general clean-up and repairs inside.
The appreciation this veteran has already given to us motivates me to do all we can for him to honor him as a person and to honor his service to our country.