Community Character: Veterans help clean property of Vietnam vet facing eviction

Bryan Simpson (foreground) pulls on a large piece of scrap metal before tossing into a pile of metal to be brought to White City Metal Works on Saturday. Simpson and his group, US Veterans Motorcycle Club, are helping remove trash and debris from a Vietnam veteran's property while the veteran is in physical therapy rehab. (KTVL/Mike Marut)

Neighbors call the big ranch property at the corner of Gibbon Road and Upton Road an eyesore.

"You need to clean this mess up, you need to clean this pig sty up after 30 years," one neighbor shouted from the street during an interview with Destiny Hulse, one of the residents of the property.

Hulse says she's been hearing shouts like that for her whole life - nearly 20 years. Because of the poor condition of the property, Hulse says Jackson County has given she and her grandfather until March to clean it up or they will be forced out.

Fortunately, that's where the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club comes in.

"We got this," Bryan Simpson, Vice President of the club, said. "I made three phone calls, got some stuff donated and my mind started getting put more at ease knowing it's the whole community that's going to pitch in."

Simpson says this kind of project is what the USVMC does. As it turns out, this project is helping a veteran from the Vietnam Era - making this project even more rewarding for the group leading the clean-up efforts.

"Those guys didn't get a big welcome home like we did when we came home from Iraq and Afghanistan," Simpson said. "This is our chance to show him that welcome home love that we got when we came home."

On top of that Destiny's grandfather is in physical therapy rehabilitation in Ashland after falling and hurting his hip, so he cannot even be there to help the volunteers clean his property. Just seeing the work though helps ease Destiny's concerns about getting forced off the property.

"It means an incredible amount, because it's giving me the ability to help my last family member," Destiny said.

Destiny's family except for her grandfather died in separate incidents over the past year or so.

"It's horrendous, because it means I have to make a lot of tough decisions and do a lot of tough things," Destiny said. "It gives me something to strive for because at least I have somebody to be there for and somebody who needs me around. It's hard, but I'm thankful I at least have him."

Destiny is 19 going on 20-years-old taking care of the property which has two demolished trailers on it.

"There were 49 livestock here. I was taking care of all them and my grandparents, my mom and my aunt by myself and I was working full-time," Destiny said. "If somebody had told me two years ago, 'hey your whole family is going to be dead and you'll be standing doing a News 10 interview about property clean-up,' I would've told them they're crazy."

Simpson thinks it'll take about a month or two to get the property cleaned up.

"We're not just helping a veteran here, we're not just helping a brother - we're helping a community," Simpson said. "That's our focus. We want the community to be a better place."

All the money collected from scrapping the metal will go towards helping Destiny's grandfather and their family clean the inside of his house and the rest of the property, according to Simpson.

If you would like to donate any money to help the costs of cleaning up, you can do so via this Paypal link.

If you would like to donate any services or your time to helping clean up the property, contact any of the following people from USVMC.

Dale: (605) 553-0084

Colten: (541) 292-0810

Bryan: (682) 241-6980

Brian: (605) 553-0084

If you know somebody in your community who does good things but doesn't get the recognition they deserve, message Mike Marut on Facebook or send an email to mmarut@ktvl.com.



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