First Sergeant James Battle served twenty-two years in the Army during the Desert Storm and Iraq War. He was stationed in Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia and Haiti. One day, during a firefight in Saudi Arabia, a tank round would not eject from the gun so he tried to release it himself, resulting in painful burns.
Along with being injured in conflict, James watched many of his buddies die during the war. Flashbacks from battle and migraines plague him constantly. James also suffers from Gulf War Syndrome and PTSD.
He says the craft kits he receives at the Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) storefront help take his mind off all the things he has seen and ease the intensity of his migraines. The kits give James inspiration and momentum. He likens the kits to rewards or trophies, and has even made gifts to pass down to family members.
James has a message for other veterans: HHV has a place where they can come and be creative and meet with other veterans. “Everyone needs to have a feeling of accomplishment, especially those that have served our country. After leaving the military, there are not a lot of things that make you feel a sense of worth. But by completing the kits, you will gain a sense of fulfillment. You feel pride in the end result of what you have created.”