January 24, 2017
DUNCANSVILLE — Wiping away tears, Hollidaysburg native Jeff Campbell, his wife, Aimee, and their four children broke ground Wednesday on the future location of their new home.
The home was paid for by local businesses and the Helping a Hero Program.
“The way the community has come together to help me and my family is just wonderful,” Jeff Campbell said.
Campbell suffers from multiple sclerosis due to exposure to an unknown substance during his time in the Navy. This crippling disease makes performing everyday tasks a challenge.
“I watched my husband fall down the steps three times because he couldn’t feel his feet. As a wife, you feel kind of helpless, how. How do you help your husband?” said Aimee Campbell.
Amy found a way to help. She put in an application to the Helping a Hero Program. The nonprofit has sponsored 100 homes for veterans across the nation. The Campbell’s thought they had a better chance at winning the lottery than being selected. But last summer they received a call that would change their lives, they were: They had been chosen.
“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘So, are you running to Sheetz to get those lottery tickets or am I?'” said Jeff.
“Ten years ago, I got a phone call asking to help for a home for a veteran. I said yes. I thought that was going to be the end of it, but then you meet the next one and the next one. And you can’t walk away. There are so many more that need our help,” said Meredith Iler, the chairman emeritus and founder of the Helping a Hero Program.
Doctors predict Jeff will eventually need a wheelchair. His new home will be custom-built to meet his mobility needs. The Campbells are expected to be able to move in just in time for Christmas.
“It’s been going on four years since we’ve had someplace to call our own, someplace to celebrate the holidays with the family, and we are really looking forward to that this year,” said Jeff.
The family will most likely pay a small monthly mortgage to keep and maintain the house.