Edward Steven Bernard A Veteran's Warrior

In Eddie's Honor

For Eddie
For Eddie

The Country Has Lost a Silent Hero

Edward Steven Bernard (Eddie) passed away two days ago. He had been exposed to Agent Orange. He died from complications of diabetes and heart disease. Gangrenous legs. An awful, painful way to leave this world.

The reason I call him a hero is his work with disabled vets. While living in New York, he worked with a military base to build housing and rehabilitation facilities for our disabled veteran's. He has provided wheelchairs, found dental care (something MUCH needed, They have no dental insurance.) Being aware of the alcoholism and drug abuse problems within that population., he wanted to build a half-way house, if you will, for vet's to overcome these issues and to offer educational opportunities.

Eddie had met almost all the recent Presidents, always championing our veterans, always concerned with their needs. In his last days he took in a veteran with no home, job or money. He allowed this man to live with him until the end paying for everything. Eddie had very little himself.

I met him through my mother who met him when she took my grandfather for care at The James Haley Hospital in Tampa, where vets can get medical care. One of the best in the nation. Pepaw needed a wheelchair and Eddie saw the situation. Pepaw got the wheelchair and my mom got a boyfriend. He was in our life for almost 8 years. Watching him pass was very difficult. We all gave him our blessings begrudgingly.

His non-profit was called Veteran's Creed. We do not know what will happen with it. When he passed he had an agreement with the government to sell them t-shirts with the profit to go back into the housing program. It is sad to see it end.

Our government has many responsibilities.

Those of us capable of helping each other must.

As we were taught to destroy

With the methods and power

Of our own engines of destruction;

So we can build a solid foundation

For each of us,

For the benefit of all of us

Because we believe that

Failure is impossible.

-Edward Steven Bernard

 His funeral was lovely.  He was cremated and National Cremation was wonderfull to everyone.

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Comments 4 comments

sara birnberg sztulwark 6 years ago

I was a friend of Eddie's. I just found several letters he wrote me while he was in Viet Nam. I would like to get in touch with someone who might be interested in looking at them. His family perhaps. Would love to know more about how he lived his life. I am sad to know that he has passed but impressed at how he devoted himself to others. Pleas contact me.

Sara


GracieLinda profile image

GracieLinda 6 years ago from Brandon, FL Author

Sara, he has a sister in New York and I am sure she would love to have the letters. My email is roners@hotmail.com and I would be happy to get in touch with her and give her your info.

Eddie was very sick when we met. Still voiciferous and outgoing, though. He became a member of our family pretty quickly.


Gayle Mahr 5 years ago

I am the mother of Eddie's only child, Michael. Michael has problems related to Eddie's agent orange exposure. Michael is also a Special Olympics Athlete, and an Athlete Leader within Special Olympics.

My son and I applsud and have always applauded Eddie's activities for disabled veterans, we only wish that he had more time with his son.

If you would like you can contact us at Pleiadestar@comcast.net.


GracieLinda profile image

GracieLinda 4 years ago from Brandon, FL Author

I am so sorry I didn't see this so long ago. I met your son. Good looking boy and I know of his problems. Eddie loved him but didn't know what to do. I think he was embarrassed that he wasn't around more but also so sick he couldn't.

We still miss Eddie and my Mom died within six months of him in Feb 2010.

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