The Purple Heart Homes Family is Here to Serve Disabled Veterans Who Gave so Much.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Durant Haire, and I am the new digital marketing specialist here at Purple Heart Homes (PHH). I, along with a new event and volunteer coordinator, and new project manager, became a member of the Purple Heart Homes family on March 16 of 2022.
I initially used the word “family” because from my first day I felt like I was among people I’ve known for years. Everyone was welcoming, friendly, and helpful. Of course, most people are welcoming and friendly on a new hire’s first day, but this was different. The sincerity of the people here was real. Their authenticity was unquestionable. I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be just another job. I was impressed.
After well over two months of working here, I know that the PHH family respects and cares for one another even though we’re not all the same. We’re not all of the same race, religion, or political affiliation, but that’s not what’s important. It’s that we’ve all come together for a common goal. It’s not about a single individual; it’s about the good we do as a family, a team, a kindred group.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions of family is: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation. This is also the definition of PHH, and our convictions are to honor those who served by providing housing solutions and employment opportunities to qualified Veterans and to see that all Veterans have a safe place to call home. These are, respectively, our Mission Statement and our Vision.
This is the first nonprofit organization that I’ve worked for, and I have to say that it’s refreshing to be part of a business that puts people before profit, one that truly cares about making a difference in disabled Veterans’ lives across the nation. That’s not to say that for-profit companies don’t help in their own ways, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with making money. I suppose what I’m saying is that we, at Purple Heart Homes, are working for something greater than ourselves, and that speaks to me on a deep level.
I asked Brad Borders, Vice President of Community Outreach and an Army chaplain, what being a part of the Purple Heart Homes family means to him. Brad said, “I see family as a community of people consolidated around a common mission. I grew up with a biological family committed to this, competed with a family of football players in high school, and went to war with a family of soldiers. All of these were families to me. The benchmark was the selfless dedication to other members of the team and in my five years at Purple Heart Homes, I have had the very same experience, one team, taking care of each other performing a vital mission.”
For those who may not know, PHH was founded in 2008 by John Gallina, now CEO, and the late Dale Beatty who passed away unexpectedly in 2018, Veterans who were injured in Iraq in 2004 after their Humvee ran over two anti-tank mines. John received traumatic brain and back injuries, and Dale lost both of his legs from the knees down.
During orientation on my first day, John began by showing an ABC Nightline interview with him and Dale that went into greater detail about their stories, why they founded PHH, and a few stories of Veterans they had helped. It was a moving experience. In fact, as I told a friend, you don’t expect to be brought to the edge of tears in a job orientation, but I was. Again, I knew that this was something more than just a job. It was going to be a way for me to help make a difference in a world that can be so full of indifference.
After being injured, Dale and John returned to their community and received a warm welcome and grateful appreciation for their service. After experiencing the concern and support they’d been given, Dale and John began to wonder why all Veterans didn’t get that same level of support. Why were there so many who gave so much for our country not getting the help they desperately needed?
Former Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller, said to his Marines, “One of my goals as your Commandant is to see every Marine be successful. So my challenge to you–not just today, but every day–is to look around and see who might be struggling. Ask them, ‘how can I help?’”
In 2008, Dale and John, who both served in the National Guard, found their answer to that very question. It was the creation of Purple Heart Homes and the commitment to help disabled Veterans from all branches of the services from WWII to the present. During the intervening 14 years, PHH has helped over nearly 900 service-connected disabled Veterans from right here in Statesville, North Carolina, to Hawaii and many places in between.
And to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors, I want to say that you too are part of the PHH family! We are so grateful to have you join us in our mission to help the country’s disabled Veterans! The need is pervasive and great. Without your generosity and support we couldn’t do the important work we do. What you do matters, and it makes a real difference in our Veterans’ lives.
We are excited for the future and ready, with your help, to make an ever-increasing difference in the lives of disabled Veterans across our nation.
If you’d like to help, please consider donating to PHH today.