Disabled vet and wife volunteer at Lt. Dan Band concert
By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- A disabled veteran and his wife give back to other disabled veterans by volunteering for the Independence Fund. The organization puts on the Lt. Dan Band Concert in conjunction with the Gary Sinise Foundation and other sponsors, including Boeing.
Monte Sternke spent 13 years in the military, but his time in the service came to an end when he was injured.
"I was making an arrest and broke my back. Been disabled for over 20 years now," Monte Sternke said. "I have seen the system change a lot when I got out you got a form and a bus ticket. They are doing much better taking care of them now, but there is a lot more to be taken care of and everybody needs to be aware of that."
That is why he and his wife decided to get involved in the Independence Fund.
It all started after they attended the Lt. Dan Band concert in Beaufort last year.
"It is a very nice concert and it's a very nice experience for everybody there," said Monte Sternke.
"It touched us enough when we were there last then and then at the caregiver retreat that we have been working with them ever since and when they decided to move Lt. Dan weekend here, we said, 'Sure we'll help you do whatever you want,'" said Dr. Lisa Marie Sternke, Monte's wife and a health service researcher at VA hospital.
Monte Sternke feels like it's important to give his time to this organization that focuses on soldiers who have given up so much for our country.
"I think I do have to give back because the sacrifices that these warriors have made have been made for me also and they deserve my efforts," said Monte Sternke. "I'll do everything I can to help them out."
The Independence Fund is made up completely of volunteers. More than 99% of the money raised by the organization goes straight to the veterans.