My name is Brenda Fredrick- my father was a World War II and Korean War Veteran and I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Briggsville, WI in his honor. I would like to share a story with you. I have an acquaintance from Reedsburg that lost his lower leg after an injury in a bombing in Iran in 2004. Through the years he has adapted extremely well- competing in athletic events, supporting other victims and becoming a motivational speaker- inspiring others to cope with the loss of a limb.
My friend has been my inspiration for this project. It all began when his wife posted a picture of his prosthetic devices leaning in the corner with this message-- “I wish there was a way to store his legs- instead of throwing them in the corner". This got me thinking- these veterans had given so much- and lost so much. I knew there had to be a way to show their replacement limbs the respect they deserved and give them a resting place each day that is dignified and honors them. Not a reminder of what they lost- but perhaps a promise of things to come. This became my mission and the basis for Operation Honor.
I came up with the idea of supplying "storage" cabinets for their limbs to every veteran that wanted and needed them – FREE OF CHARGE. I don’t believe ANY veteran should have to pay to get one of these cabinets. But, I didn't want just a "storage"- unit- I wanted something beautiful and respectful, and unique. So how did I even start this project? While I had a GREAT idea and dream- I had NO idea how to implement it. I know little to nothing about designing or building furniture- and I truly wanted these cabinets to be beautiful and a wonderful addition to any home. I reached out to another of my friends that is a renowned European furniture designer and told him my idea. He agreed to help- he designed a beautiful cabinet that can be customized. The Veteran can choose different woods and finishes, they can have their name and rank engraved, and they can add a patriotic plaque or one representing their branch of service. They can even have the inside custom designed to fit their specific needs. Part of my mission was accomplished.
I thought that perhaps some Veterans may have trouble assembling the cabinets (after all they are over 6 feet tall!) or putting them in their home when they arrive. That is where the local chapters of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars come in- I am hoping they will assemble and deliver them to the veterans- and a donation will be made to their Post for their assistance. So again- NO COST to the veteran. Part two of my mission accomplished.
So, who pays for these beautiful cabinets? That is where Operation Honor needs a lot of help. We need sponsors and supporters to cover the costs. We also need people to spread the word so that Veterans can get these cabinets. We need a national spokesperson that can help give us a louder voice. Please consider helping. Purchase a cabinet so that these deserving Veterans can know how much they are honored. Far too many Veterans don't feel appreciated or cared for and sometimes are overcome with depression and emptiness. If in any small way these cabinets can convey the appreciation America holds for them and show them every day that we care- then Operation Honor will be a huge success!!
Please contact us if you can help in any way. I would also be more than happy to talk to your post about how to raise over $5,000!! I look forward to hearing from you.