Military vets deliver supplies across Puerto Rico #WATWB

Special thanks to the We Are The World Blogpost cohosts this month,  Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, Damyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo. It lifts me up to be part of this journey. Puts me in mind of the old song “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…”

But now on to the main heroes of this story. Army veteran Jason Maddy inspires me. He spent most of the last four months handing out much-needed supplies to folks in Puerto Rico hit hardest by Hurricane Maria.What’s especially inspirational to me about Maddy is that, even though he and his wife must cope with his PTSD, he puts his own issues aside and focuses on helping others.

“Puerto Ricans are Americans,” he told NBC News. “They deserve help, they deserve support, and they deserve not to be forgotten.”

Maddy, who served in the Army from 2000 to 2015, came to Puerto Rico soon after Hurricane Maria hit last September, wanting to help in any way possible. He began by getting supplies to people in rural areas of western Puerto Rico, and soon launched the nonprofit organization Veteran Disaster Relief. Several other volunteers, who bring food, water filters, and medical supplies to people who still don’t have electricity and are living in structures considered inhabitable, have since joined Maddy.

For the full NBC news story, go to:


  1. Guilie Castillo on January 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Brilliant story, Lizbeth! This last hurricane season hit the Caribbean hard… We in Curaçao are fairly out of danger (too far south, too close to the mainland), but our sister island St. Maarten was devastated, and for several months we had refugees from there over here. They’re still rebuilding, and even with the full support of the Dutch and French armies and governments, it’s going to take years for the island to get back on its feet. The case of Puerto Rico, the way they seemed to be abandoned by the federal government, was a blow to the entire region… How could this happen? A country as powerful, as resourceful, as the US, turning its back like this? Hard to believe. Harder to digest. And then all the stories of how help was being provided, not via the official channels but via private individuals or companies—Tesla, for instance, and Mr. Maddy. These missions are not only saving lives, but also saving hope.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! GREAT #WATWB choice!

    • Lizbeth Hartz on January 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you, Guilie, for your comment. I agree; the devastation of places like St Maarten and Puerto Rico, and the equally devastating situation of the government not helping in it’s hour of need–shameful, terrible. And then stories of men like Mr. Maddy, who unselfishly and compassionately give brings tears to my eyes.

  2. Emily Bloomquist on January 28, 2018 at 2:55 am

    I cannot even imagine the horror of living through the destruction then having the federal government turn their back on you. I am so glad that individuals like Mr. Maddy stepped up where the government failed. Thank you for sharing his story Lizbeth. Reading some positive news on Puerto Rico is wonderful.

    • Lizbeth Hartz on January 28, 2018 at 8:02 am

      You’re welcome, Emily. I’m so glad for compassionate folks like Mr. Maddy, too. Thanks for reading and commenting. Now on to read your blog post.

  3. Simon Falk on February 8, 2018 at 9:46 am

    To think that Jason and his wife are doing this wonderful work for Puerto Ricans in the midst of their own suffering too. Wonderful. I hope they too are being supported. Thank you for sharing and being part of our WATWB

    • Lizbeth Hartz on February 8, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      I agree, Simon. Thanks for writing and, as a friend of mine used to say, I’m happy to be here and proud to share.

  4. Lynn Hallbrooks on April 17, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Mr. Maddy’s heart and soul are in the right place. May others look upon his acts and remember that no matter what, we are all members of the planet Earth. We should work together in the good and the bad times. Thanks for sharing this story and for being a part of WATWB.

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