Craft Kits Help Bond a Young Soldier and His Son


WINCHESTER, Calif., Sept. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Since joining the U.S. Army in 2006, nothing has been routine for Sgt. Jonathan Aycock.  On his first deployment to Korea he met his wife Pedra, a U.S. Army Specialist.  While in Korea they found out they couldn’t have children, then learned about Korea’s world-class in-vitro fertilization successes.  Less than three years later Aycock and his wife were celebrating their son’s birth.

Overshadowing their joy, however, were bone stress fractures Aycock suffered in both legs during Ranger training, forcing him to reclassify.  He then suffered three herniated discs following a routine march in Afghanistan, causing all feeling in his arm to be lost.

Chronic pain became something Aycock had grown accustomed to, but he continued to serve.  He and his wife signed up for the Army’s Married Couples Program and served together in Afghanistan.  While there, Aycock experienced pain severe enough to cause him to lose consciousness while driving.  He was ordered to go stateside for treatment.

“Leaving my wife behind was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said.  “It was unbearable when I first got home, not just the pain, but the loneliness.”

“One of the services available to me through the Warrior Transition Unit was free arts & crafts received from occupational therapy, as I was having trouble with my hands which would shake and frequently cause me pain.  While working on the crafts that I noticed how much my condition improved,” said Aycock.

He says he’d cuddle with his son and work on craft kits to ease his discomfort.  It’s the craft kits that Aycock credits with turning things around.  The kits, he insists, which are donated through Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV), have been a lifesaver for him.  “The more I work on the craft kits the less I hurt.  My hands are also stronger and tremble less as a result, but the best part is my son and I work on the kits together, which bonds us in a special way.  Working on the kits helps in countless ways,” Aycock added.

CONTACT:Frank Cimorelli