MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — West Shore Home launched its “West Shore for Warriors” project in September, and since then, the business has been able to give eight veterans across the country brand-new bathrooms.
Kirsten Page, the company’s director of public relations, said they focus on bathrooms because they can be a dangerous place as people get older.
“Many of our veterans, especially those who are getting older … may have some injuries related to the war, some injuries that they’ve incurred throughout their lifetime,” Page said. “So, having a safety-enhanced shower with wrap bars with a fold-down seat will really be a life-changing thing for them.”
West Shore Home works with the veteran community often.
“West Shore for Warriors encompasses all of our veteran outreach,” Page said. “We do a lot of veteran hiring, a lot of veteran recruiting and training veterans for a career once they leave the military. So most of the veterans who we chose for this project had already reached out to us and were in need of a new shower because many of them had a tub that they had to step over.”
Many falls and injuries can happen in a bathroom. Especially when people have to step over high and slippery bathtub walls.
“We had two of our veterans who had a prosthetic leg, so having to get into a tub is very difficult if almost impossible for them to do that,” Page said.
She said it is the company’s way of making veterans feel appreciated.
“They all said the same thing,” Page said. “They didn’t feel the gratitude when coming back from the war from their fellow Americans. To be given something like this, now, it just made them feel so grateful and thankful.”
One veteran, Nolan Yates, was in the Marine Corps and served in the Korean War. He told the West Shore Home team that the gift was something he would never forget.
“You don’t know how grateful I am,” he said. “To have you guys do this for me is just a thing I will never forget. Marines don’t cry. They just have leaky eyes once in a while.”
Another veteran, Donald Shank, served in the Army during World War II. He told the West Shore Home team that he was grateful to share American pride with them.
“West Shore, they’re proud to be an American because they wanna honor a simple soul like me,” Shank said.
Page said having a safe bathroom is life-changing for the veterans. She also said getting to hear the veterans’ stories changed her life, too.
“A lot of these men, no one ever asked them about their story and they never had a chance to really talk about it,” Page said. “Listening to what they went through, my respect for them, I always had respect for them, but then once you actually hear in their own words what they went through, it’s life-changing.”