Thanks to the efforts of an entire community, a Marine Family was presented a new handicap-accessible van on Friday, January 9 at their home aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Hope For The Warriors® joined forces with another nonprofit and local community groups in order to purchase the van and improve mobility for both the Marine and his wife, supporting the needs of the entire family.
Gunnery Sgt. Josh Thomas, his wife Carrie, and their two young children live aboard Camp Lejeune. Ten years ago, a snowmobile accident left Carrie without the use of her legs. Gunnery Sgt. Thomas supported his wife by lifting her in and out of the family’s vehicle. Gunnery Sgt. Thomas was deployed three times, and the first time he was wounded by an IED and was awarded the Purple Heart.
After he came home from his third deployment, he was scheduled for an operation. The operation did not, however, go as planned and Josh continues to face medical challenges. One challenge is the restriction of weight that he can lift to less than 10 pounds. He can no longer lift his wife and the couple needed a handicap accessible van.
Hope For The Warriors® worked with several businesses and organizations, such as Semper Fi Fund, Marine Chevrolet and Cadillac, and Van Products (who drove the van to the Thomas’s to make sure it suited their needs and made necessary adjustments) to make this donation possible.
The entire community worked together to care for the Thomas family. To raise funds and awareness, the Stroller Warriors, a community group, created a fundraising page and held a half marathon. Approximately $9,000 was raised through these community efforts and those funds will remain with the Thomas family to assist with other accessibility needs.
We thank the entire community, including donors and Hope For The Warriors® staff, for making it possible for this hero and his family to enjoy the ease and access of a new van!