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Central Texas man receives over 1,000 donated trees to make canes for veterans

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 16:16:36-05

COPPERAS COVE, TX — A Central Texas man is helping our nation's veterans put their best foot forward, and he asked for help. He was not expecting what he received in return.

Jamie Willis asked for leftover Christmas trees to make canes for veterans, and after our story aired Dec. 26, he has received over 1,000 donations.

Home Depot in Killeen even donated all of their leftover trees. Then, other veterans met up with him on Sunday to help trim the branches on the trees to get them ready to be turned in to canes.

25 News spoke with Willis of Canes for Veterans Central Texas to learn what his efforts are all about.

U.S. Army veteran David Garza uses a cane to get around.

"21 years getting in and out off of tanks and off of vehicles. Yeah, but that's just one of the sacrifices we make," explained Garza.

When he needed support, fellow veteran Jamie Willis was there.

"He asked me if I wanted a cane built," said Garza. "And I said, 'Sure, why not?'"

Through Canes for Veterans Central Texas, Jamie Willis does what he can to help our nation's heroes stand tall.

"The whole process, it's just done off donations. I make the canes myself. Everything's done out of pocket," said Willis.

Since 2016, Willis has created more than 200 canes for veterans across the country.

This Christmas season, he has a special request.

"Just don't throw your trees out. If you can, just bring them to me," said Willis.

Willis will use the Christmas tree donations to make even more canes.

Veterans like Carl Parkhurst say it is a worthy cause.

"Reason for it is to help veterans. Jamie doesn't charge anything for them he gave me mine for free," Parkhurst said.

Not only does Willis help veterans, he will make a cane for anyone who needs one.

Christmas tree donations can be dropped off at 2001 Jesse Dr. Copperas Cove, Texas.

For further questions, reach out to Canes for Veterans Central Texas at (254) 394-3150.