A wounded Army veteran’s backyard in Colorado Springs, Colorado, got a huge makeover Wednesday thanks to volunteers with big hearts and willing hands.
Army Staff Sgt. Audrey Bocock, who suffered permanent injuries to her left side and a traumatic brain injury during her time in Afghanistan, said her world has been limited for quite a while.
“So I’m homebound, my world is pretty small,” she commented. “Resulting things from the war, not just from being in a wheelchair, I have issues from a head injury, I’ve had a few strokes, deal with seizures, been diagnosed with lupus because of the agent orange on the equipment that we were issued.”
However, some of that changed recently when the Home Depot Foundation partnered with Purple Heart Homes to make Bocock’s house and yard more wheelchair accessible.
“We work with a powerful network of nonprofit organizations to deliver relief to those who need it most,” the Home Depot’s website stated.
More than 40 volunteers from the company and the foundation joined forces to make sure Bocock could enjoy her home and start doing the things she loves again, such as gardening.
“I love nature, I’m a nature bug, I’m a country bug and it’s hard for me to be in town,” the veteran said.
The Purple Heart Homes website stated that it is a 501(c)3 public charity “dedicated to providing housing solutions for Service Connected Disabled and Aging Veterans that is substantial in function, design, and quality fit to welcome home the fighting men and women of America.”
Mike Nicholls, who works for the Home Depot, said he was excited to be part of such a project.
“To help somebody that’s a 14-year Army vet, a medic that helped save people’s lives in the field, and now we get a chance to help improve her life a little bit,” he commented.
Nicholls said in the spring, the team will plant trees and put down sod behind Bocock’s new retaining wall. Volunteers will also build a wheelchair ramp so she can easily access her outdoor shed.
The veteran expressed her gratefulness for the work the volunteers put in to make her home an even better place to live.
“Very big heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you that have come out here and volunteered your time and your smiles and your hugs and handshakes, this is great,” she said.