Fundraiser held in honor of Minnesota soldier diagnosed with cancer raises money for homeless veterans
“He was adamant that this was not a fundraiser for him or his family. They didn’t need it and they knew others did,” Reed said, growing emotional.
“So when they called and asked like, ‘Hey, can I do a fundraiser for you?’ Initially, I was hesitant because the military, I still get my salary. Our health care for the military is good enough that I don’t have bills. And so there’s no reason I can’t give back to people, you know, homeless veterans,” Helgestad said.
Homeless veterans were top of mind for Helgestad because he had been watching WCCO’s most recent Home for the Holidays campaign.
“It spurred from WCCO and the work that ‘CCO did with MAC-V over the holiday months,” he said. “Regardless of how your situation is the case, how mine may be. I know, there’s homeless veterans out there. And after, you know, 20 years plus of being in the military, and having had soldiers that were homeless living in their car, that, you know, sometimes it’s about the greater good, and not me, as an individual.”
Personally, Helgestad says he’s taking each day one at a time.
“I’m not looking to retire yet. But I do realize, you know, medical retirement is potentially sooner than later in my future. But until that time, you know, I go to work and do everything that is asked of me, and is required of my position,” Helgestad said. “My family, and I, you know, we’ve sacrificed for the greater good of the nation. And so to me, that’s the message… Sometimes it can be about just one person, but in this case and all this, it’s about more than just me.”