AE3 Billy Gene Kennedy is the first beneficiary of the generosity of the 2019 “One Yard at a Time” Gala sponsors. AE3 Kennedy was born April 24, 1928 in Scottsboro, Alabama. He joined the Navy at the age of 18 and served stateside supporting the war effort as an Aviation Electrician until his discharge in November of 1951 at the rank of Aviation Electrician's Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class (AE3). After his discharge, Mr. Kennedy returned to Huntsville, Alabama where he joined the work force at the Army Redstone Arsenal until 1960 when NASA moved in from Texas. He worked for NASA from 1960 until his retirement in December of 1988.
LotUSA provided Mr. Kennedy with the Companion Four-Wheel full size scooter Model (GC440C) on Sunday 14 April 2019. Special thanks to MobilityWorks® of Huntsville, Alabama for helping get Mr. Kennedy the exact model to fit his needs. In addition to the scooter, LotUSA is providing a $3000 down payment toward a low profile van to transport his new scooter.
Providing Home Renovation
PV2 Jason Melhiser (Center)
LotUSA Founder Darryl Fuhrman (Left)
LotUSA Member Desmond Holoman (Right)
Volunteers Ralph Woodard and Desmond Holoman
The home where the Melhiser family lives was in dire need of a new front porch. With his injuries, surgeries, and continued health challenges, Jason was not physically able to do the necessary manual labor to replace the deteriorated porch. An old college friend of Jason’s offered to replace the front porch. Jason and Jennifer saved up enough money to start the project. The “friend” deconstructed the front porch, leaving a 5-foot wide area that dropped from the front door directly down to the foundation below. Then, the issues began. The “friend” doing the project needed still more money. He began to make excuses why he couldn’t come to finish the work. Problems with his vehicle, issues with his workers, and on and on. Eventually, leaving a dangerous drop-off from the front door, and a hole in the side of the house, he disappeared, with the Melhiser’s money.
The house remained in that condition for over a year. While delivering medical equipment to Jason from the VA, a gentleman by the name of Bruce Franko was discussing the porch issue, and Bruce told Jason he had an idea. Lettermen of the USA (LotUSA) is a non-profit, all volunteer, organization that provides assistance to veterans and wounded veterans. Bruce reached out to the organization on Jason’s behalf, and was assured that yes, indeed, LotUSA would be glad to accept this mission.
Discussions with Jason and the LotUSA team took place, materials were ordered, and on Saturday, June 8, a group of volunteers showed up to build a brand-new porch on the Melhiser home. In Jason’s own words, “LotUSA has been a godsend. They filled a void that I was not able to. My wife and I have been trying to figure out how to get the porch done and could not come up with anything. I do not like to ask for help and try do to as much for myself as I can. But what these guys came and did for me, it’s a godsend.”
Darryl Fuhrman & Ralph Woodard
Taking Care of our Own
I suffered a number of injuries over the past few years. They have included bulging discs, cervical stenosis, brain aneurysm, hip labral tears, and a sports hernia. Surgery for some of these issues is considered very risky. As a result, I sought out alternative methods for healing for most of my problems. I found that there are different types of injections one may take and they have been shown to promote healing in one’s body. They are as follows: Prolotherapy, PRP, and Stem Cells.
I sought a reputable and experienced physician who deals with such things. I found a facility called Caring Medical in Ft. Meyers, FL. They have over 25 years of experience in helping people heal. I know people who have been helped by going to see them. The only problem with such procedures is that insurance does not typically cover them and they can be quite pricey. The Lettermen of the USA organization assisted me financially in getting the injections covered. I have already begun to see improvement, physically, which of course, helps one’s all-around well-being.
While I still have a ways to go, and possibly more treatments to come in the future, I am extremely grateful for this organization and wouldn’t be in a better position without them.
Brian Cunningham is a former place kicker for the University of Alabama. Cunningham walked on at Alabama and made 33-of-38 extra points and 12-of-21 field goals during the 1996 and 1997 seasons at Alabama.
#19 Brian Cunningham
Brian Cunningham with his wife and kids
William Ernest Henley - 1849-1903
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
This poem is in the public domain.
Lettermen of the USA
For additional information regarding LotUSA sponsorships, membership, and future events, contact Darryl Fuhrmann.
Registered Charity: 501(c)(3)