GARAGE DOOR REPAIR
Jon Van Brocklin gave up a lot for his country, including use of his extremities and his mental health. In return? A local garage door company in Van Brocklin’s home town of Racine, Wisconsin, rewarded his wife with a new garage door opener. The small gift was a big deal to Van Brocklin’s wife Jamie, who told the Journal Times that the new garage door was completely unexpected.
The incredible story of valor and garage door charity begins with Van Brocklin’s impressive military service, a career that included tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “He is 100 percent disabled,” his wife told the local paper, “but he has all his body parts.” Perhaps it was this attitude of gratitude that attracted the good will that would ultimately lead to her garage door being repaired by a local good Samaritan.
The garage door was inoperable at at the home on Racine’s south side where the Van Brocklins lived mortgage-free, thanks to the Military Warriors Support Foundation. When the garage door motor quit working, Jamie called Jim’s Garage Door Service of Racine. The Journal Times reported: “Because the garage door was inoperable, the installers, Jeff Hanson and Tyler Larsen, entered through the house’s front door.”
“They saw the military pictures and the plaque for the (free) house,” Jamie said. Eventually, Jamie shared Jon’s military story. While many veterans do return from long and repeated deployments only minimally changed, Van Brocklin hadn’t fared as well. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star of Valor for his combat injuries, resulting in medical retirement the summer following his last tour. But even though Van Brocklin left the Army, the experience was slow to leave him or his subconscious. Van Brocklin continues to suffer from panic attacks and is still in treatment for both PTSD and traumatic brain injury, the paper reported.
After the installers visited the Van Brocklins’ home, Hanson went home and talked with his wife about the wounded veteran. When Jamie called to ask about being billed for the repair, she was told the garage door repair had already been paid for.