Detecting honesty in people can be a difficult task. However, if you hear U.S. Marine Veteran Robert Stokes say, “I love my country. I live in a free country, and I was proud to fight for our country,” you know with absolute certainty that he is telling the truth.
Mr. Stokes enlisted in the Marines to serve in the Vietnam War because of his love for the United States of America. He completed his Basic Training at Camp Pendleton in California before serving in Vietnam for two years. Mr. Stokes earned the rank of Corporal throughout his time in Active Duty. Eventually, Mr. Stokes transferred to the Reserves, which he served in for four years.
If you ask Mr. Stokes why he enlisted in the military, he will say adamantly, “I served because of the love I have for this country… because of our freedom.” Unfortunately, Mr. Stokes did not receive much love from his country when he returned to civilian life. He told us, “The first year was hard. I couldn’t find a job for a long time. People kept throwing eggs and tomatoes at us Vietnam Veterans.” Additionally, Mr. Stokes developed Post Traumatic Stress, cancer, and M.S. due to his time in Vietnam.
After realizing that his hunt for a job was not yielding results, Mr. Stokes decided to enroll in a culinary school and got a job as a cook. He cooked until his medical retirement in 2002. Mr. Stokes is married to his wife, Melissa, with whom he has a daughter. Troutman, North Carolina, is the town they call home, and their home in Troutman was in dire need of improvement.
Purple Heart Homes renovated the Stokes’ front yard and front porch, as well as made their bathroom handicap accessible. “These renovations allow Melissa and I to live more comfortably and independently. We are grateful that we don’t have to rely on other people so much anymore,” Mr. Stokes told us.
Thank you for your love of our country, Mr. Stokes. We welcome you and Melissa to our Purple Heart Homes family!