I remember... it was a particularly cold & rainy November night when I met Tony. Tony is a Vietnam era Army veteran who was camped out next to an abandoned "Wolfe Nursery" warehouse close to my home. I had seen him in the area several times before but for some reason I felt an overwhelming desire to stop by and check on him this night.
He told me of his story of being "Down on this Luck" because of certain life events he ended up in a local veterans shelter. He continued telling me how he had been robbed of all of his possessions and his Veterans ID so now he was unable to stay at the veterans shelter.
This is very personal for me for several reasons besides being a veteran, a small town farm boy from Indiana, a Retired Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy, I still remember being embarrassed as a young boy being sent off to several different neighbors houses to “borrow” some food items so we could eat that night, not to mention... unpredictably later in life, after a divorce, I found myself homeless, living in my truck, unemployed and broke.
Needless to say... it breaks my heart to see anyone struggling like this. This was the day I decided that I had to do something, that was the day Veterans Produce was born.