Monday, Sept. 21, the partnership of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program and American Legion Post 45 in Canton, Ga., achieved the milestone of donating their 20th vehicle to a veteran in need. Started three years ago, these two organizations started a local program to provide donated and slightly used vehicles to two groups of veterans, those at least 70% SC disabled or greater, and formerly homeless veterans who have turned their lives around and now are part of the community and in need to transportation to land a better job.
On this day, our program was able to donate two vehicles to both a 70% disabled veteran and an Army veteran who found himself homeless and in need of transportation to overcome his daily 18-mile commute to and from work on his bicycle. According to Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County program and service officer for Post 45, we heard of the Army veteran's struggle with transportation as a result of talking to Brandon Watts from Operation Rallypoint at a breakfast meeting.
He assisted us at Operation Rallypoint in an event we held ,and rode with me personally to help other veterans as he wanted to contribute while he was awaiting SSVF approval and contact with prospective employers. He was interviewed for an opportunity at a respected company, but COVID forced a hiring freeze, and a delay in his SSVF as well as his job search. Undeterred, he did everything he could to keep his family motivated through this tough time. He started work with a remodeling company. He was finally accepted into a townhome and is now paying rent. He was riding a bicycle 18 miles round-trip to work. His bicycle was hit by a car and the crank was broken, so he started running to and from work. His character and dedication is really something unique, and he is a man who does not quit. Not to mention his ambition to help others. Dion takes every opportunity to ride along with us to assist struggling veterans. He gladly shares our mission on the same shoulders he bears his struggle as a matter of principle, not obligation..
This veteran has shown that adversity is only a bump in the road, and we are happy that we were able to help him. Our program does not do charity, rather every veteran who has served has earned our help as we are veterans helping veterans.