Enlisted for life, local vet receives special gift

GLENS FALLS – The most recent medical challenge for 81-year old Viet Nam era Air Force veteran Johnnie Waldmann was the amputation of his left leg this week.

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Because of it, his wife, Gail, knew her husband would need help when he got home from the hospital Saturday afternoon. That’s why she reached out to an organization called Enlisted For Life, a not-for-profit made up of mostly military veteran volunteers, dedicated to assisting anyone else who served in uniform, who might be down on their luck.

Fellow Air Force veteran Sean Carroll founded the organization.

“I tell everyone, we’re not heroes. This is a revolving door. We do this because it helped me first,” Carroll stated, “Whether they’re veterans or civilians, the return is huge.”

Johnnie Waldmann was the beneficiary of a heartwarming huge return Saturday, gifted with a motorized wheelchair on his return from the hospital, in addition to a brand new wheelchair ramp allowing him easy access to his Glens Falls home.

“It’s been a long road,” Waldman stated, “I’ve been in a lot of hospitals, but coming back to this, I’m telling you, that made my day.”

The unselfish acts of kindness for a military family in need left Gail Waldmann nearly speechless.

“It’s beyond my imagination,” Mrs. Waldmann stated.

From Sean Carroll’s point of view, it doesn’t matter that people serve in different wars or in different decades. In that respect, his organization is kind of like an extension of the old battlefield credo No Soldier Left Behind.

“The meaning of enlisted for life isn’t we’re enlisted in the military for life, we’re enlisted through one another for life,” Carroll said, “You find one vet that will walk away from another vet in need, that’s not happening.”

Carroll says the motorized wheelchair was donated by a woman in Pennsylvania whose husband, also a veteran, recently died.

The non-profit Enlisted for Life is a multi-faceted organization. In addition to finding wheelchairs, building ramps, or fixing furnaces or plumbing for veterans in need, they also feed and clothe homeless vets.

Carroll says they’re in the process of creating a vocational training program for veterans to make sure they have the skills to get back on their feet, and earn a living.

If you know of any veteran who needs help, if you want to volunteer, or if you have items to donate, log onto the organization’s web site: www.enlistedforlife.com