Commitment to Serve: Why Theft Didn't Stop Veteran from Volunteering
SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "It never crossed my mind not to attend."
Nobody would've blamed Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jerrod Kester if he would've canceled his trip to volunteer at a Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) event in San Antonio, especially after what happened right before he was supposed to leave.
"My wife and I were headed to work, and she started yelling at someone to get out of my truck," Jerrod recalled. "The guy started running with the backpack he had stolen out of my truck, which contained my wallet, phone, money, and identification."
Jerrod, who is stationed in Montgomery, Alabama, and has served as a police officer in Charlotte, contacted the police and chased after the man but was unable to track him down.
Jerrod then faced a decision: stay and sort out the situation, or find another way to San Antonio since flying wasn't an option after his personal effects were stolen.
After 12 hours in the car, he was in San Antonio, helping set up for WWP's Carry Forward® 5K, delivered by CSX®.
"I made a commitment to volunteer, and I was going to honor that commitment to Wounded Warrior Project as I've done in the past," Jerrod said.
More than 2,000 people participated in the event, which supports wounded veterans and their families.
"The amazing stories of resiliency and determination you hear from our wounded warriors is always a highlight for me," Jerrod said – which is fitting coming from someone so determined to be at the event.
"I believe it's our responsibility to give back to those men and women who have borne scars in defense of our nation and freedom," Jerrod said. "They're my brothers and sisters in arms, and this is my way of giving back to them and showing my unending support."
Jerrod plans to launch his own nonprofit that will provide agricultural therapy to veterans and their families.
And he won't need a new backpack to do so; his stolen property was found in a neighbor's yard.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project