Clearly, America is a generous country. Where else would an Ohio man launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund his dream of creating a savory batch of potato salad and find more than 5,000 souls willing to help him with his quest — to the tune of more than $47,000?
If we as a nation can do that, surely we can rally behind a cause that’s even more worthy: Helping a disabled veteran keep a roof over his head.
Ross Dahlberg is an 82-year-old Korean War veteran who lost the home he lived in for 17 years while in the hospital recovering from triple bypass surgery. Dahlberg told Amanda Whitesell of the Livingston Daily that he fell behind on his mortgage payments after a divorce and several surgeries. He applied for financial assistance through the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation’s Step Forward program, but was denied due to a clerical error.
Joshua Parish, a veterans’ benefits counselor at the Livingston County Veteran Affairs office in Michigan, thought that what happened to Dahlberg wasn’t right. “It’s not just this veteran in this county that it’s happening to, it’s everywhere,” Parish said.
Parish began to fight for Dahlberg to keep his home, submitting a motion to prevent the house from auctioned off at the sheriff’s sale, while at the same time working to raise the $4,000 Dahlberg owed in back mortgage payments. The judge denied the motion, however, and the house sold to Day Glo LLC for $132,000 in March. Dahlberg has until September 26 to match that amount, or he’ll lose his home for good.
Parish has not given up, researching all the sources for veterans’ assistance he can find and setting up a GoFundMe account in June that so far has raised more than $8,000 — but remains well short of the funds needed. “It’s an incredible amount of money,” Dahlberg, who is wheelchair bound and suffers from diabetes, told Whitesell. “I would be astounded if we raised that much.”
It sounds like the time for Americans to unite behind this veteran. If we can put a man on the moon and finance an epic batch of potato salad, what’s to stop us from keeping this veteran in his home?