Soldiers repair house of veteran's widow -, GA News Weather & Sports

Soldiers repair house of veteran's widow

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Warrior Outreach thrives to help soldiers, veterans and their families in any way they can. The non-profit organizations began six years ago, when the founder of Warrior Outreach, Retired Sergeant Major Samuel Rhodes, wanted to assist soldiers who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

Sergeant Major Rhodes had been struggling with PTSD as well and found comfort in equine therapy. Sergeant Major Rhodes had been in multiple wars, and realized that life is perishable; he refused to let life pass him by without making a difference for other soldiers and veterans.

Thus, what started with few horses and small group of soldier families now expanded into an organization that now helps renovate and rebuild damaged homes of veterans and their widows.

Sergeant Major Rhodes and soldiers from Bravo Company worked on finishing Judy Hammack's mobile home Thursday June 27. The group had been working on this house for about a month and a half. Sergeant Major Rhodes said he was pleased with their progress.

"This is our fourth home this year. We began renovating homes earlier this year, and I am proud of what we have done," Sergeant Major Rhodes explained. "Judy Hammack's husband died in 2010. He was a Vietnam Air veteran. Hammack's house was damaged horribly. Her sink was not working, her home needed a new paint work and her power did not work properly. There was a whole lot of work that needed to be done."

Sergeant Major Rhodes believes the importance of supporting soldiers and veterans. He hopes that the warriors will find comfort, friendship and healing when they gather to assist other people's needs.

"I found healing when I started helping others. People say I am doing a great job, but really, the act of giving and supporting others was actually helping me recover," Sergeant Major Rhodes stated.

Judy Hammack came back to her house around noon on Thursday to find 50 soldiers working on her house. She held Sergeant Major Rhodes' hands as she carefully made her way into her mobile home. Hammack's expression was priceless, and she was in awe with the job that Warrior Outreach had done.

"I am so grateful, and I thank God for this blessing," Hammack said. "If my husband was here, he would be pleased and thankful as I am. I am so excited to be back in my house. I was waiting for this day- I told everyone that I was like a little kid waiting to open her Christmas gift!"

Warrior Outreach is staffed entirely by volunteers and runs on donations. Soldier volunteers frequently participate, but non-soldier individuals are welcome to join.

"We actually had a great number of community volunteers help us out few weeks ago. Companies in our area have been extremely helpful. Big corporations like Zaxby's, Chick-Fil-A and Coca-Cola have been helping us out, for example," Sergeant Major Rhodes added. "And I cannot say enough about Heartland Ranch in Ringgold, Georgia. They have been donating all this time, and they are going to donate more money so we can renovate two more houses. Ringgold is also my hometown, and I am truly grateful for all the help."

Countless number of companies donate and support Warriors Outlook. Sergeant Major Rhodes and his wife, Kathy, had to donate from their own pockets for the past five years. They still continue to provide from their personal funds as well, but they are receiving more donations nowadays.

If you are interested in supporting Warrior Outreach or want to find a way to help make a difference for veterans' families, visit their website

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