Local U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, Paul Johnson, a double Purple Heart recipient, has a caring heart for other veterans. Along with his wife, Stephany, the Johnsons are helping three local veterans with disabilities become more independent by funding three separate ramp projects through The Ability Center’s (ACT) Home Accessibility Program.
When the Johnsons asked which veterans were on the list for home modifications, our team went to work identifying veterans with the greatest need. ACT met with the men, prepared project cost estimates, and shared the stories of these patriots with Paul and Stephany. This beautiful and caring couple went from selecting one project to quickly and quietly saying, “We need to help all three.”
Veteran #1 was in the Army Signal Corps from 1946-1948 and was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. At age 88, and after multiple spine and neck surgeries, going up and down steps to get in his home has become treacherous. Veteran #2 was in the Air Force from 1968-1972 and was stationed in Guam. With six joint replacements and arthritis, this veteran needed a ramp to make entering and leaving his home safe. Veteran #3 was in the service from 1966-1968 on a Navy destroyer. Numerous health issues make leaving his home next to impossible. With a ramp, he will be able to come and go freely.
Each of the men were overcome with gratefulness that total strangers came forward to financially support this program, and specifically, them. Their independence and accessibility to the community will change overnight. All three ramp projects will be made of aluminum, extending the likelihood that many more individuals will benefit from these ramps.
From one veteran to another, the Johnsons are changing lives one person at a time; their legacy of giving lives on.