BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Ten years ago, Wendy Porter, daughter of a Vietnam veteran, envisioned the idea of a safe place for veterans.
“Seeing what he went through during my childhood, growing up with him and then realizing as an adult what really transpired and what he went through, I just wanted to do something to give back,” said Porter.
Paving the way for Wounded Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization that provides free support programs and financial grants to Kern County veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
“Coming back from Iraq to a home that you don’t understand anymore is one of the hardest feelings,” said Julio Torres, a service dog trainer for the organization.
Torres served 12 years with the marine corps.
“Going through a lot of traumatic experiences and then coming home, I felt like a ghost, like no one understood me,” said Torres. “With everything I said, everyone looked at me like I was crazy.
Torres reached out to the organization and found a family, he says. Now he works with the Wounded Heroes Fund as a service dog trainer for veterans – one of the many programs offered by the growing non-profit.
“I’ve seen them grow so much,” said Torres. “Helping more veterans over and over.”
The organization is now working on opening a new community center.
“The main goal is being able to provide services in one place and build on what we already provide,” said Porter.
But they need your help.
“Come and buy lunch and you get a great meal,” said Porter. “I guarantee you it’s the best tri-tip sandwich you will ever have and then those $10 you’re spending is going towards helping open this building and help our programs continue on.”
You can donate to the organization Wednesday by purchasing lunch at their annual barbeque.
The event will happen right outside our KGET studios at the corner of 22nd and L streets from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For $10 you get a tri-tip sandwich, chips, drink, and a cookie.