Facing World War II veterans and the dozens of South Georgia teenagers gathered to help them last year, Pastor Wayne Anthony challenged the young volunteers to imagine the aging men 70 years earlier when they were as young as many of the teens sitting in the Lake Park United Methodist Church.
"They responded to a call,” Anthony said. “Dec. 8, 1941 was the most frightening day in the world’s history. ... There was not a ship left in the Pacific to defend against an invasion from Japan. ... Great Britain was on the verge of collapse with little left to stop the Nazis.
“They put out a call to young people, just like a
lot of you, and asked them to step forward and
defend freedom and
protect liberty around the world.”
Seventeen million of them put on uniforms. They sacrificed. They died. Wayne Anthony paused often speaking these words. “They did all of this for the values you and I enjoy today.”
Anthony turned to the veterans, spoke more words, and concluded by telling them, “You have a home in the House of Heroes.”
The House of Heroes is dedicated to repaying veterans’ service by helping them with the maintenance of their homes. Work which the veterans can no longer effectively perform due to age,
disability or lack of finances.
It is dedicated to helping surviving veterans from the nation’s wars.
This week, more teens will volunteer to help regional veterans.
House of Heroes notes it does not need more volunteers for this year's annual build but the public is invited to attend the ceremony to honor the designated veterans scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Lake Park United Methodist Church.
Anthony developed idea and founded House of Heroes while pastoring in Columbus.
Anthony, who is the organization’s founder and president, shared the story of raising funds for the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. During this drive, several older veterans said of the memorial fundraiser: “Too little, too late,” Anthony said. These veterans had saved the world but had reached an age when they needed help caring for their houses.
House of Heroes was born. In the past several years, House of Heroes has helped veterans in Columbus and Philadelphia; Plano, Texas, and Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix, Ariz., and Nashville, Tenn.; and several communities across Georgia, including Valdosta.
More information: Visit www.houseofheroes.org