The Ken Boyd Project
During the Vietnam War, at the age of 18, Ken Boyd was a young army soldier was a week away from rotating home. He had meet the girl of his dreams while on RnR in Hawaii and was looking forward to getting back stateside. Before he left, his platoon was sent on a routine reconnaissance mission. On that mission, the platoon was attacked by the Vietcong and he was hit by an explosion that took one of his legs. He reached down to pinch off the artery, hoping not to bleed to death and while lying there face down in the mud, the explosions and gunfire stopped. The Vietcong soldiers came out of the jungle and started checking the bodies. They discovered our young soldier and kicked him, then kicked him again. Ken looked up from the muck, expecting to be killed, and for reasons unknown, the Vietcong soldier walked away.
Reinforcements soon arrived and took out the enemy soldiers. While being carried on a stretcher to the helicopter, the reinforcements came under attack and the only other survivor in the platoon, who was helping to carry Ken on a stretcher to the helicopter, was shot in the head and killed.
Our 18 year old was the only member of that platoon who survived.
Decades later, living in Hanford, CA our Vietnam Veteran is completely wheelchair bound. The bathrooms in his house are inaccessible to him and he has had to resort to taking sponge baths. His wife, (the girl of his dreams he met in Hawaii) has been diagnosed with Stage 4 MS, and is also wheelchair bound. Day after day he eats, sleeps, and lives out of his wheelchair while trying to take care of his wife the best he can. Due to not having access to a bathroom, he has developed a bone infection is his one remaining leg and is now facing its amputation.
For 4 plus years, Ken has attempted to receive a “Home Adaptation” grant from the VA. Each attempt has been bogged down in bureaucratic paperwork requesting “just one more form” and has been denied. At one point, the grant was denied just days away from starting construction, no reasons given, just one more form to fill out. Our veteran is completely qualified for this grant.
Where the VA has failed our soldier, Our Heroes Dreams is answering the call to help. This week, permits were picked up from the Hanford City Planning office and work will begin on building a handicap accessible bathroom addition off the ground floor master bedroom. The cost of the remodel is estimated at $74,000.00.
The entire project will be crowd funded through donations. The work to be done will be done by Veterans from all generations, including post 9/11, who are volunteering their time.