BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Former Staff Sergeant Jason Maddy may have been born and raised in Beckley, but he is still trying to come to grips with the wintry weather while making a short visit to his hometown.
“(I’m) not used to the cold, of course,” Maddy said. “But it does feel great to come back and see family that has supported our efforts down there.”
Maddy used his 14 years of Army combat experience towards the nearly three months he spent last year in the heart of Puerto Rico with his group Veteran Disaster Relief.
“We would find communities that were cut off,” Maddy said. “Just like in the military, we would set up landing zones and try to ensure that they got food and water to those areas.”
Jason’s wife Aliesha says the reason for his mission is just compassion for everyone, especially for our fellow Americans.
“It doesn’t matter who it is,” Aliesha said. “They all just want to help and make sure that people have the basic necessities that they should have. Puerto Ricans are Americans, so they should have the same things that we have and shouldn’t have to struggle just because they’re in the middle of the ocean.”
Moving forward, Jason says there is still much more to be done, since some of the rural communities have yet to receive sufficient help.
“Some of the cities are getting better,” Jason said. “But you have these mountainous regions that have no power, still have… limited resources. It’s still very difficult for them there.”
He says this group gives other veterans the ability to do more service in the future.
“Veterans have unique skills to continue to help people,” Jason said. “It gives them an avenue to continue to utilize the skills they’ve learned in the military.”
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