BERKELEY – When one soldier needs help, others come running.
This was the case for Bayville resident Kyle Cyphers. The Army veteran served in South Korea (2010) and Afghanistan (2011-2012). He had a small Wounded Warrior flag at the front of his home as well as a garden sign that stated “property protected by a U.S. veteran,” said Holly Nitto, who works with local nonprofit the Redondo Foundation.
Cyphers posted on the Facebook page, Bayville Chatter, that someone stole the sign and the flag. His mother also posted about it. Nitto knew his mother from the salon where she works.
“When I saw Michelle’s post that someone stole from a veteran, I knew I needed to help, and therefore immediately spoke with her about helping to get these items replaced,” Nitto said.
Chris Hoff from the Wounded Warrior Project was able to replace the small flag with a standard size flag.
Keith Pettersen, one of the Redondo Foundation’s top volunteers, contacted several people and Charlotte Banasiak volunteered her time and materials to make the sign, she said. “We had also gifted Kyle some smaller American flags as well as a Redondo Foundation t-shirt.”
Don Redondo, a Bayville resident who started the 501(c)3, said he helps local vets who have PTSD or traumatic brain injury get away from their struggles for a little bit and bond with others who might be going through the same thing. It allows veterans to get away from it all and focus on themselves in a non-clinical approach.
The group had a fundraiser in the fall at Veterans Park. At that event, Redondo told The Berkeley Times that a group recently came back from Moab, Utah. In national parks like this, a veteran can unplug and de-stress.
“There’s no noise. They can really focus on themselves. They realize what’s really important,” he said.
To help, or to be helped, visit ProjectAWOL.org.