Jamie Willis is an eight year veteran of the United States Army. When he was discharged and came home to Copperas Cove, Texas, he was unable to get around without the use of a cane. The VA issued him one, which Willis says frankly was pretty ugly and undependable. So he looked around and found Free Canes for Vets, an organization that gives veterans a hand-made cane that is both practical and stylish. Willis loved his new cane so much he decided he’d learn how to make them himself.
Free Canes for Vets helped him learn how to do it, and now he’s crafted over 200 canes that he’s given away, for free, to not only veterans, but anyone who needs a cane to get around, young and old alike.
But Willis has taken things one step further. The only wood he’s using right now is from discarded Christmas trees. He loves to get his hands of a derelict blue spruce or Scotch pine, shave off all the branches, plane down the trunk, and carve a magnificent walking cane for someone who otherwise might not be able to get out and about.
He mulches the parts of the tree he doesn’t use, and says that anyone with a handicap like he should stop feeling sorry for themselves and get busy learning to do something to help others.