Citizens, Sportsman’s Club Join Forces to Assist Disabled Veteran
Last week, a disabled United States veteran, who resides in the hills of Tyler County, found help from a unique source The Valley High School Sportsman’s Club.
Frances Headley, who serves as chairperson of the Wetzel County Democrats Veterans and Military Families Council, reached out to the community on Jan. 17 via Facebook, hoping to find some assistance for a disabled United States veteran.
The veteran, who resides in Tyler County, was in dire need of firewood, to power his wood-stove and heat his home. Headley noted that the veteran’s home was a mere 48 degrees inside. Headley was first notified of the issue by concerned community member, Michelle Hadley.
Kristi Earley, VHS teacher and mentor for the Sportsman’s Club, immediately wanted to help. She reached out to Wetzel County Sheriff’s Deputy, Don Bordenkircher, who is VHS’ Prevention Resource Officer. Bordenkircher is another mentor for the club. He is a veteran as well.
Sportsman’s Club members are required to participate in community services hours in order to qualify for the club’s annual trip to the mountains. Yet, many of these students had already completed their service hours. Still, they were eager to help, without hesitation.
Headley later reported, “‘Borde,’ as he is affectionately called, had already instilled in these students’ minds, how important it is to look out for our veterans.”
The Sportsman’s Club thus set a plan in motion, to help the veteran.
In the meantime, Wetzel County residents Molly and and Melvin Delaney chopped and delivered wood to the veteran and his family, to last the family until the Sportsman’s Club could get their wood chopped and delivered. Mr. Delaney is a volunteer firefighter with the Pine Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Headley noted that the Delaney duo “sprang into action to help.”
On Jan. 23, the veteran and his family received further fuel for their wood fire. Headley then reported that the Sportsman’s Club kids, under Earley and Bordenkircher’s supervision, gathered, chopped, loaded, and delivered “three trailer loads of wood to the Veteran in need and his family in Tyler County.”
“When Ms. Earley asked me if I would help a veteran by cutting firewood to help him and his family, it really meant a lot to me,” said Sportsman’s Club member Mary Larrimore. “I asked my parents if they would help me cut and chop the wood. They were also happy to help. This really made me happy, knowing that I helped a disabled veteran and his family stay warm.”
Bodee Scyoc agrees with his classmate. “I have been cutting and selling firewood since I was little, to have extra cash,” explained Scyoc. “When Ms. Earley told us about the veteran needing firewood, it was important to me to cut him two loads and donate to the family.”
Earley noted, “I feel it is important that we help out a veteran when we are able to. They have made so many sacrifices for us that enables us to have the freedom we have today. I am so proud of the way the students responded to this situation.”
Headley, a veteran, was full of praise for the Sportsman’s Club, its mentors, and more. She thanked the following members of the club: Bodee Scyoc, Jenna Dallison, Mary Larrimore, Caden Palmer, Peyton Bassett, David Sell, Emma Ueltschey, Marisa Shannon, Haley Baker, Travis Leek, and Tyler Stoneking.
“You kids make our community proud, and we thank you for your eager generosity and hard work! Know that you have helped a United States Veteran and his Family out in their time of need!”
Headley praised Earley and Bordenkircher for “inspiring these students today, and everyday.”
“It is leadership like yours that makes our community a wonderful place to live and raise our families in.”
Headley further thanked Wetzel County Sheriff Mike Koontz and the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Department “for helping the students achieve their mission.”
Bordenkircher was humble in his response:
“There is no need to thank me; it is what we do,” he noted. “With that being said, the generation of students that helped are young and don’t even know much about 9/11 or even Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Enduring Freedom; not to mention, Desert Storm, Vietnam, Korea, World Wars, and all the small conflicts in between!”
Bordenkircher said Valley High School’s kids are second-to-none when it comes to helping others. “They are next level kids, and they go over and beyond. They are our Sportsman’s Club students!”
Bordenkircher said the club’s members keep an open mind, listen, question everything, and “the biggest ‘thank you’ to me personally is being there for them when they need knowledge, help, and a little wisdom.”
“The job I have is the best. Being able to have students drop what they are doing and help a fellow warrior is more than I can ever ask. A lot of wounded warriors and vets won’t ask for help even if they truly need it. And that’s what makes this so wonderful.”