Boot Campaign’s Military Recovery Fund helps veterans in ways most other nonprofits don’t, and Josh’s story is a perfect example. After serving in the Army for nearly four years, including a deployment to Iraq, he found himself struggling with what to do next. He worked in the oil fields of North Dakota for a while, but the drop in oil prices that had most Americans smiling at the pump left Josh without a job. Missing the regimen and brotherhood of the Army, he talked it over with his grandfather. It was then Josh decided to go to lineman school, hoping to recapture some of what he missed about the military.

“After the Army I had lost my way for quite some time and have been on a chase to find a calling ever since. I want stability and to follow in my granddad’s footsteps, as he is a WWII veteran and was also a lineman for 36 years. I never remember him being in a bad mood or having a bad day. He also spoke about how he loved working as a lineman because it was like being back in the military with all of his brothers…it made him feel like a part of something again after his separation.”  

Josh enrolled in lineman college and began the next phase of his life. But there was a catch: his school supplies were pretty expensive. He needed a specific set of tools for the program that cost several thousand dollars; it was another road block, but he was determined to make it work. While it’s hard for most people to ask for help, veterans often find it even more difficult. But Josh took that step and reached out. 

“I am asking for some help, it is not easy for me to do. I’m looking for the help I need in order to become more productive in society and build my family that I have dreamed of having.”

Boot Campaign jumped at the chance to help Josh reach his dream! An MRF grant covered the cost of tools needed for lineman school so he could focus on beginning his new career. A recent note from Josh let us know how important this, and all the work we’re doing at Boot Campaign is in caring for our nation’s heroes: 

“I truly cannot put into words how grateful I am…no words for how humbled and thankful I am to everyone [at Boot Campaign.] I hope that one day I will be able to give back as y’all have given to me.  With the funding from you I will be able to finally pursue the career I have wanted to for so long but had no direction or help. Thank you so very much, you all have been a godsend.”

We talk a lot about the importance of partnerships when caring for veterans and military families – forming a network of like-minded organizations to offer expanded support in areas one group isn’t able. Boot Campaign works with a growing list of amazing nonprofits and patriotic corporations, helping service members and veterans live happy, healthy lives whenever we can. We met Josh thanks to a referral from our outstanding partner Carrick Brain Centers, which provide treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Like Boot Campaign, they care about their clients’ whole being and offer guidance for other areas of assistance when they can. We’re so glad they told Josh about Boot Campaign and we were able to help.