News>Lisa Groves: Helping veterans one state at a time
Lisa Groves, founder of Veteran’s Connection Inc., displays her vehicle of signatures of hundreds of veterans from across the country Oct. 11, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Veteran’s Connection is Groves’ non-profit organization that aims to provide advocacy for veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
Lisa Groves, founder of Veteran’s Connection Inc., raises awareness for disabled veteran’s Oct. 11, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Groves, an eight-year U.S. Army disabled veteran, travels across the country as part of her “No Veteran Left Behind Awareness Drive.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
by Senior Airman Zachary Perras
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/17/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- In 2011, Lisa Groves traveled across the entire Lower 48 to help veterans and lend her voice to their troubles. She's now traveling again, this time leaving her mark in Alaska.
Groves served in the Army for eight years, helping veterans as much as she could while serving her country. After her discharge in 1992, she and her children were homeless for nearly six years, moving from shelter to shelter in various states.
Her hardships, however, did not stop her from keeping her head up and moving forward. Groves has made it her mission to search for veterans and give them whatever she can, whether it's a loaf of bread and a bottle of water or clean clothes and a blanket.
"I've taken my bad experiences and learned from them so that I could give back to others," Groves said. "What I've been through makes me want to do more for people so they can know that every hardship makes you stronger."
Groves said helping veterans is her life calling. Their struggles are overlooked and often go unheard. Because of this, she said she'll be traveling for as long as it takes to help as many veterans as possible.
"I want this to be a motivational wave to wake up our country and the world," she said. "Our vets and our troops should have all the support in the world because of the sacrifices they've made and still make today."
Her efforts have all been funded out of her own pocket, but she has found helping hands nearly everywhere she's gone. People have given her money for food and gas and she's been offered places to stay overnight.
"Nobody owes me anything, but people have taken care of me along the way," Groves said. "It's the little things and the unconditional love of others that keeps me going."
While visiting Eielson, Groves was able to share her story and meet with several Icemen, passing along her compassion and thanking every service member she met.
"What Lisa does to help those in need is absolutely wonderful," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery Brown, 354th Fighter Wing command chief. "The Iceman Team was honored to have her here and we can't thank her enough for her support of America's heroes."
Groves doesn't know when she'll stop, and she has no intentions of slowing down. Her message to others, one she lives by to motivate her passion, is simple.
"You just keep on keeping on," Groves said. "No matter what, just keep moving forward."