Canes for Veterans
Canes for Veterans

Canes for Veterans

Copperas Cove man’s request for Christmas trees draws national attention

A Copperas Cove man’s story about helping fellow veterans drew nationwide coverage just after Christmas. The story, though, is also about how he’s helping himself. Jamie Willis put out a call during the holidays that he was looking for Christmas trees when all the decorations had been taken down. He wanted to use the trees to make canes for other disabled veterans. And, boy, did people answer that call. Willis received hundreds of donated Christmas trees, not only from area residents but from stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. Trees were delivered by the truckload, giving Willis plenty of material to add to his cane production. In the past couple of years, he has made over 200 canes. Just after Christmas, he was working on cane No. 223. Willis said his odyssey began in 2016 when he started looking for a cane. Eight years in the Army left him 100 percent disabled and with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I was looking for a cane myself,” said Willis. He told CNN the ones provided by the Veterans Administration “had no style” and weren’t “deemed trustworthy.” He contacted Oscar Morris at Free Canes for Veterans out of Florida. “He had done 500 canes at the time and didn’t have any,” said Willis. “He suggested I make a cane. I told him it was too much.”


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