Voices From The Lab: AFN Client on FOX7 News

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Man helping vets reconnect with civilian world

By: Mike Warren, July 4, 2013 courtesy of FOX 7 News

Photo of Charles Bishop with Mike Warren of FOX 7 News

Charles Bishop with Mike Warren, FOX 7 News Anchor.

Charles Bishop is creating a website to help vets. It has a simple premise: the vet posts their story on the site where civilians can read through them and if they choose, they can offer services or support directly person to person.

“We need to do something different and this is what I’m hoping will be the difference, which is to bring them back into society,” Bishop said.

The site, when it is launched, will be called SaveOurSoldiersNow.wordpress.com.

It was inspired in part by Bishop’s father, a Vietnam vet who died of cancer he says from Agent Orange.

However, the site was also inspired by something else.

“I prayed,” Bishop recalled. “It’s true I prayed and needed help. I needed to feel part of the community and I always wanted to do something to give back to help.”

While Bishop had the inspiration and passion, he didn’t have the computer know-how. That’s where Austin Free-Net stepped up to help and taught and guided him through the web design process all free of charge.

An image of Bishop's website

Charles Bishop's website.

There is one thing about Bishop we failed to mention and it makes this story extraordinary. He is homeless, since last march he’s been living at the ARCH, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless.

He has also been in trouble with the law and actually did time. However, he says that is in the past, and this passion to do something for vets is leading him forward to be the kind of person he wants to be.

For Austin Free-Net he’s been the ideal client.

“People get excited about helping others and we can see people go from homelessness to getting a job and then self-sufficiency, and that’s what we all want,” Budd said.

Beyond that this website to connect vets and civilians who want to help also is a means of redemption and re-connection for Bishop who for years had lost touch with his wife and four children.

“We’re talking now,” Bishop said. “We have talked warmly for quite some time now. I can feel that in our conversations so it’s a dream come true. When I say it I mean it.

AFN Note:  Click here to see the FOX 7 news story video. Charles is actively working on his website with the help of the AFN Staff.  We will let you know when it is officially posted.

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