DENVER (KDVR) — There are more than 400,000 war veterans in Colorado, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many struggle to cope with health problems developed during their service to their country. Army and Marine Corps veteran John Besch tells FOX31 whether on Veterans Day or any other day of the year, those who have served appreciate being thanked for their contributions.
“Determination, drive, everything, we give 100 percent” he said.
Besch says he will always be proud of his decision to join the military.
“I made up my mind that I’m not going to let somebody die for me when I can stand up and do it,” he said.
Besch copes with post-traumatic stress disorder and wants increased awareness of the need for support for mental health programs for the military.
As the nation and the world fight a different type of enemy, the coronavirus, Besch is struggling to survive.
He isn’t homeless but reduced income due to the pandemic and his wife’s illness is causing him to battle a financial setback. Besch says beating the pandemic means following public health guidelines with the heart of a soldier.
“Pay attention, do what you’re told, don’t question it. I’m not going to infect my wife,” he said.
The proud veteran tells FOX31 he still rolls his socks and clothing in the style he was accustomed to in the military, and he would serve again if asked.
“I love this country. My oath of enlistment doesn’t have an expiration date. All Uncle Sam has to do is call me and I’ll be there,” he said.
Freedom Service Dogs of America is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that unleashes the potential of shelter dogs by transforming them into custom-trained, life-changing assistance dogs for people in need. Clients include children, veterans and active duty military, and other adults.