HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)– Hundreds of homeless Hoosiers are veterans. Vietnam war veteran Rodney Bond and his wife, Melanie, have been working to help those veterans who have no where to go. They serve up hot meals for those heroes everyday.
“She loves to cook for these guys. She likes to make special dinners for them,” Bond explained. He delivers nearly 30 meals a day as part of his Heroes Outreach Service Providers initiative (H.O.S.P.). He has been paying for the food himself. “There ain’t a greater feeling then to hand a plate lunch to one of these guys when they come out of the shelter. Makes it all worth it.”
The owner of All Peddlers Flea Market gave Bond their kitchen and a dining area to continue serving the brave men and women who put their life on line for your freedom.
“He says, Rod, honor em. As long as you honor them, this place is yours for nothing,” said Bond who is turning that space into a restaurant and war museum. They are already accepting dine in and carry out orders. All of their proceeds go towards to buying more food for homeless veterans.
Bond’s drive to help veterans is fueled by the pain he felt and the struggles he experienced after serving in the Vietnam War. He said it started with being beat up in 1974 for being a veteran.
“And then I got beat up again in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I thought I was dead that time but once I got out of the hospital, the cop didn’t know what to do with me because I had no place to go. So he took me to a homeless shelter,” said Bond.
“The best thing that a cop could have ever done for me. It turned me around.”Rodney Bond
He is trying to turn other veteran’s lives around while paying homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I love helping any vet. I’ve got veterans with PTSD that call me sometimes 2 and 3 in the morning because I go to their level. I can talk to them. They understand me,” said Bond.
(This story was originally published on August 18, 2020)