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Having just met a Marine Corp veteran planning his own funeral which would occur is less than six months, I knew I had to help honor him within the community.When the Marine left Wood Simply Made after telling me he had roughly six months to live, it took a few moments for the gravity of the situation to sink in. I was feeling a lot of emotions all at once, but they all told me to do the same thing: Help honor this Marine and show him the sacrifice he made has not gone unnoticed. I got to work on making sure the community would know his story immediately.
I had already decided we were not going to charge the Marine for the work we were going to do for him. I was honored he choose us to build these incredibly important pieces for him; items that would be passed through his family for years to come. He requested we build him a full dress uniform shadow box, a glass and wood display case for his dress hat and a custom framed service picture all to be used at his funeral. In total, the price for this custom work would exceed $1,000.One of the most troubling parts of his story was how long these Marines had to fight to receive any sort of benefits, or even validation, that the cause for these illnesses was the water they were drinking at Camp Lejeune which located in North Carolina. After doing a little more research I saw there were as many as 900,000 service members and their families impacted by this and they had been fighting for this for years. Being a resident of the Space Coast for years, I knew our community would help.Being a business owner I have to be practical as well. I knew I would be able to cover the labor and material costs of most of the items, but there are additional costs for materials we needed such as glass that needed to be paid for as well. I decided to use the fundraising platform Go Fun Me to help raise the needed $400 for the extra materials and help share the word about this Marine’s story. The campaign was set up shortly later, and now all I could do is wait.Continued in Part 3
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