How can one truly thank a Veteran for his/her efforts and sacrifices? Can we ever do enough? I’d say, no, but we can certainly try!

Earlier this year I had the honor of spearheading a special gift for a veteran and his family. Former Marine Corporal Benjamin Reynolds and his wife Melissa were so grateful to have become homeowners, but the house’s one shortcoming was a backyard that was not child-friendly, to say the least. If they could wish for one thing, it would be to have a patch of grass for their 3 daughters to play on, in lieu of the existing jagged paver, rock, and dirt landscape. Thanks to the Boot Campaign and other generous contributions from Star Nursery of Las Vegas and Papillon Helicopters / Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines and their volunteers, we rallied around their backyard and gave them a space to play and create family memories.

I remember visiting their home for preliminary preparations of the makeover—the girls, filled with excitement of what was to come, would show me they were armed with pails and shovels, ready to get to work! They’d ask me, “Norma, did you bring the grass?” How adorable! Ben certainly would give anything he possibly could to his “princesses,” as he calls them, but the shoveling, lifting, and hauling that comes along with this type of work would be impossible for him due to the injuries he suffered in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an IED.

The Boot Campaign Backyard Makeover certainly made their yard go from glum to glorious, but the greatest transformation was in the faces of the Reynolds as they watched their girls run barefoot through the grass, giggling uncontrollably. I’m so grateful to have been a part of bringing joy to this hero and his family. In the spirit of our nation’s Thanksgiving holiday, thank you, Ben, for your service, and thank you, Boot Campaign, for this opportunity!

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