Jody Henderson had a combined total of 24 years of service on Active Duty and in the Reserves in the Air Force. Henderson shared a bond of military service through his dad who was an Army veteran of the Korean War Era.
Henderson retired in 2009 and while living in Salt Lake City, Utah at the time started as a driver for the VA working in medical supply as well as transporting patients to and from the VA.
“During my USAF career, I worked in the Material Management Branch of the Clinical Sciences Division of USAF School of Aerospace Program, at the start of NASA's Space Shuttle Program,” Henderson said. “I was responsible for procuring medical and non-medical supplies and equipment for various departments. From there, I transferred into the Investigative Analysis Division of USAFOSI.”
In 2016, Jody’s dad developed general Alzheimer’s symptoms. Two years later, his mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Jody relocated to Spartanburg and became the caregiver for his aging parents. He worked as a part-time shuttle driver for the VA and did handyman jobs to help support them; however, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, he stepped back from that work to limit his parents’ exposure.
“For me, during the last two years, caring for both parents in their home meant keeping watch over them during a 14-hour overnight shift, safeguarding them from even themselves at times,” Jody said about his experience. Both of Jody’s parents died between the summer of 2020 and the spring of 2021.
After his parents passing, it was difficult for Jody to regain financial stability and that is when he was put in contact with UWS. Thanks to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Jody’s rent and utility bills were remitted directly.
“I explained my needs and they were met entirely,” Jody said, speaking of his interaction with Upstate Warrior Solution. “These people are real, and they care about us. [They] made me feel as at ease as I possibly could and listened to the details of my temporary struggle with a mindfulness that was needed.”
Since the beginning of May 2021, 10 Veterans and their families, like Jody, have been assisted with financial support through the relief fund created between UWS and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.