Wounded Sapulpa Veteran Receives Free Home



What started as an uneventful trip to get a sandwich turned into an experience they won’t soon forget.

Oklahoma Veteran National Guardsman Sgt. Greg Vanarsdel has had a rough journey the last few years—and that was eight years after he returned home from his last tour of duty in Iraq. In 2012, his family celebrated the realization of their personal “American Dream”—a house on the lake. Barely a year later, that dream had turned into a nightmare.

In 2013, doctors discovered a growing tumor in Vanarsdel’s brain. It was caused by being in combat, and had been growing at a steady pace for nearly a decade.

“50% chance of survival”

He underwent a surgery to have the tumor removed, in which the doctors gave him only a 50% chance of survival. Beyond that, they said it was only 50% likely that he would last a year after the surgery. Two years later, and he’s still here.

But it hasn’t been exactly happily-ever-after. According to the GoFundMe.com Page created by his daughter, Vanarsdel was making a six-figure income prior to the discovery of the tumor, but after his surgery, he was unable to keep his job, and his American Dream home on the lake became a burden instead of a blessing. Though he’s been diagnosed as disabled by a top neurosurgeon, his Social Security benefits have been three-times denied by the Federal government (learn how to deal with similar Social Security issues at application-filing-service.com). As a result, he lost his home last October.

“My Dad is an American Hero, he is my hero…”

But there was still hope in the helping hands of friends and family. The GoFundMe.com page raised over $4,000.00 for him to get a start on a new home for his family, but even greater was the surprise that Soldier’s Wish brought on that fateful trip to Subway.

Soldier’s Wish is a national public charity whose mission is to say “Thank You” and provide for unmet needs by granting wishes to active duty service members, veterans and their families in all five branches of the military.

On this day, Soldier’s Wish was going to—with help from an anonymous donor—facilitate the giving of a new 3-bedroom mobile home. As family and friends surrounded a surprised and tearful Sgt. Vanarsdel, Soldier’s Wish made good on on their mission to a local hero and dedicated family man.

Help other service members like Vanarsdel

You can help grant a wish to those who have sacrificed for your freedom by partnering with Soldier’s Wish. To learn more about how to make a difference, see their “ways to donate” page.

Special thanks to Kathie McDaniel for submitting this story to us.

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Micah Choquette

Micah Choquette

Micah is the owner/Editor-In-Chief of Sapulpa Times and passionate about telling the everyday stories in the town that we love. You can find him on Twitter at @meetmicah or email him at news@sapulpatimes.com.