DALLAS—The transition from military to civilian life can be hard enough. That’s why AT&T and Cell Phones for Soldiers banded together to help some of our nation’s heroes.
“Cell Phones for Soldiers was started in 2004 by my sister and I when we heard a story of a soldier with an $8,000 cell phone bill,” Cell Phones for Soldiers co-founder Robbie Bergquist said. “We collect used cell phones and recycle them and with the proceeds, we purchase prepaid phone cards and we send those overseas to active duty military members. We also are helping our military veterans here at home with prepaid phones.”
Wednesday, five of those phones went to homeless vets at Union Gospel Mission in Dallas. It’ll help with everything from talking to family to getting a job.
“AT&T has supported Cell Phones for Soldiers for a number of years, and it’s a very exciting partnership we have,” Brad Yates, Director of Community Engagement at AT&T added. “AT&T has a very long commitment; over 100 years of helping and giving back in our communities, and today is just an example of that.”
In addition to the phones, volunteers gave the living quarters a makeover and served lunch.
“We’re absolutely excited by AT&T and Cell Phone for Soldiers coming,” Program Director of Veterans’ Programs at Union Gospel Mission said. “They’re a great help, they got a lot of work done today. Everybody’s sweating; it’s really, really a good feeling to have them all here,” he smiled. “We house 54 veterans, 2 in emergency housing and 4 in long term transitional housing. It’ll help them have a sense of normalcy.”
Their kindness touched more than these vets’ stomachs in the form of a meal.
“The VA, it’s been so amazing for me. My family trusts me again, my grandkids expect to see me every weekend. This program that they have is so amazing,” Army veteran Johnny Lee Jackson said with tears in his eyes. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970-1972. "I hate to be on camera being [emotional,] but it’s coming from the heart."
“How does it make me feel?” he asked. “Look at me,” he cried. “This is so amazing.”