Out-of-state farmer picks up veterans organization’s rent

 The Pennsylvania Veterans Chamber of Commerce in Camp Hill has had no trouble finding vets stable and well paying jobs.

“Every veteran who has come through the door we have put to work,” said President Robert Brandt.

It was finding reliable funding that put them on the brink of collapse.

“I’ve funded thousands and thousands out of my own pocket into here, so have my board members,” added Brandt.

This month they simply could not afford their $700 rent.

That was until an unexpected guest rolled into the Midstate hauling a trailer full of cattle.

“Brought some cattle from Massachusetts…brought the kids and here we are,” said Todd Russell while standing by the equine entrance to the Farm Show Complex.

Russell and his family had traveled from Massachusetts for the Jr. Hereford showcase. Upon arriving to the area, he caught wind of the struggling VCC. As a veteran himself, he says he felt called to act.

“One of his quotes to me was, ‘You know what? We are going to show Pennsylvania how we treat our veterans in Massachusetts,” explained Brandt from his office.

It turns out that the stranger from New England told the organization that this month’s rent was on him. He donated the $700 dollars they needed.

“I’m going to spend $1,000  on fuel back and forth to home,” said Russell, “If I can spend $1,000 dollars on fuel to entertain my family I guess I can afford $700 in rent to help out someone who is doing a lot more than I’m doing.”

Russell hopes that his gesture will get Midstaters thinking about the price veterans have paid.

“From somebody that is from out of state…from three states above ours…from Massachusetts to believe in our cause and the VCC, that’s just awesome,” said Brandt.

Donations can be made through the Pennsylvania Veterans Chamber of Commerce website at http://www.pavcoc.org/ or by calling: (717) 612-9511.

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