Stories from the Field: Ken Wood Helps a Veteran Improve His Quality of Life

Ken Wood

Marcus with the donated lawnmower

Marcus with the donated lawnmower

Thanks to Buddy-to-Buddy volunteer Ken Wood, a veteran with limited mobility can now mow his own lawn.

Early this year, Ken was connected with a veteran in his area. The veteran, Marcus, has multiple serious health issues and needed assistance with things to help him improve his quality of life. Shortly before becoming ill, Marcus had trained to become a volunteer with Buddy-to-Buddy, and learning this detail made Ken even more motivated to help him in whatever ways he could.

First, Ken reached out to fellow volunteer David Rojas about resources in their county that provide free snow removal. David recommended that Ken contact Downriver for Veterans, and that organization was able to remove the snow from Marcus’s driveway throughout the winter.

As the warmer weather came, Marcus no longer needed help with snow removal, but he wanted to be able to mow his lawn on his own. He asked Ken if he might help him locate a donated riding lawnmower.

Ken started posting about needing a riding lawnmower on Facebook and asked B2B staff to help spread the word. About a day after B2B Outreach Coordinator Amy Kienast posted the request on the Michigan Bikers Helping Veterans Facebook page, several veterans indicated they wanted to help.

Ken connected Marcus with one of those veterans, and two days later he received a donated riding lawnmower.

Thankful for the way that fellow volunteers, veterans, and B2B staff aided Ken as he worked with the veteran, Ken describes the great outcome as a “team win.”

“The military teaches us core values, and so many of us, if not all, still follow them, and probably will ‘til our last day on earth. The #1 core value is to never leave a fallen comrade behind,” says Ken. Ken has certainly embodied these ideals as he’s assisted numerous service members and veterans since training to become a B2B volunteer in 2016.

Wonderful job, Ken!