On a daily basis, Operation Homefront provides assistance to military families all over the country. Thanks to our donors and supporters, the Sanders is an example of how we are able to help a military or veteran family get through a difficult time. We are honored to be able to make life a little easier for our very deserving military families.
Read more about the Sanders family:
Ricky Sanders joined the Army in 2006 because he wanted to be a better person. He wanted to learn how to use his skills to become a leader. He wanted to see the world. He wanted to accomplish things that most other people haven’t.
During his six-year career, Ricky played basketball for the Army, making the All-Army Team that allowed him to travel all over the world. He’s played in Ireland, Germany, the Philippines, and Japan. Playing basketball for the Army allowed him to see many different cultures and worlds that he would not have otherwise seen.
It was not all fun and basketball games, though, because Ricky contracted three Traumatic Brain Injuries throughout his army career. The third, due to an overturned vehicle, caused him to have serious dizziness, migraines, and other side effects that cut his deployment in Iraq short and brought him back stateside, where he recovered at the Womack Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg.
In July 2012 Ricky medically retired from the Army, but due to complications with his paperwork, his VA payments listed him as single, when in reality, he was taking care of a family of seven, including himself. In the summertime, with his five children out of school, it was especially hard for them to afford food. “When you have five kids and the oldest is seven and the youngest is one, their metabolism is different from older people because they’re still growing. Feeding five kids, that takes a load. When we cook, it’s like cooking for a whole village.” Receiving assistance from Operation Homefront has lessened the burden for Ricky to provide food for his family.
Another way Operation Homefront was able to assist Ricky was when his house was robbed in the summer of 2013. “We came back from my aunt’s funeral and my whole door was inside my kitchen.” The thieves took money, a television, their children’s clothes, Ricky’s shoes, and even some furniture from the house while they were gone. It put them in a bind because everything they had worked for was suddenly gone. They didn’t even have any way to cover the bills.
That summer, Operation Homefront was there to help Ricky after the theft. “Operation Homefront was good to us. They helped us feel like we could feel better and that there was someone out there who could help us with our problems,” he said. He was able to recoup some of his losses, but what stayed with him was the overwhelming feeling of happiness he experienced when he realized that Operation Homefront could help him through the pain of the situation. The thieves may have taken his possessions, but they were not able to shake Ricky’s confidence because Operation Homefront helped him when he needed it the most.