by Jennifer Lysiak/MetroWNY
About two years ago, President of Vets H.E.R.D (Helping Empower Returning and Disabled Veterans) Philip Arnold decided to take matters into his own hands and raise awareness about the lack of veterans' resources in the community. He wanted to ensure that veterans and service members are not forgotten when they return home from active duty.
Although, not a veteran himself, Arnold said that Vets H.E.R.D, a non-for-profit organization, began when he had the opportunity to be one of the project managers for the ABC television program "Extreme Makeover," which came to Buffalo a couple of years ago.
"I was standing next to a couple of veterans and they were telling me on Veterans Day about how inefficient some of the programs are and were for soldiers. They told me that you don't qualify for programs unless you have certain things under your belt. My thought process, being an outsider, is if you're at war for one day being shot at or 200 days being shot at, you're a veteran. I said that is enough of that. I wanted to do something about it," remarked Arnold.
For soldiers who are injured in active duty, Arnold's organization helps them by renovating their home so that can do a good majority of their rehabilitation at home instead of at the hospital.
"The morale is so low at hospitals and we are finding out they do better if they're around family and friends instead of other soldiers that are injured," commented Arnold.