Veteran Al Schmitt

Veteran Al Schmitt

The Mid Shore Veterans Group (MSVG) and Local Troops with Disabilities and Needs (LTDAN) joined forces and finances to provide a bathroom retrofit in the home of veteran Albert Schmitt and his wife Audrey, according to a news release.

LTDAN is made up of members of the Men’s Auxiliary of VFW Post 5246 in Federalsburg and has helped many veterans over the years, according to the release. Al Schmitt, 76, is a six-year veteran of the U.S. Army, in which he served as a heavy truck driver. He entered the service in December 1962 and was honorably discharged in November 1968. According to the press release, Schmitt made a request for the installation of a sit-down shower in the main bathroom of his home and it came to the attention of Royce Ball, co-founder of MSVG, in August. The shower was becoming an increasing necessity for Schmitt, as his ability to enter a tub was beginning to decline. “Since that time, I had been looking for ways and vendors to fund this project,” Ball said. “It was getting late in the year, and I did not want to drag this request into the holiday season. As it turns out, it has become a big part of this veteran’s holiday season.”

Ball appealed to the LTDAN for advice because they previously had been involved in assisting Schmitt before. “They received me with open arms and helped me find a way to get this done,” said Ball. “After I explained the situation to them, they devised a plan that we were both able to manage.” LTDAN decided to take over providing and installing the sit-down shower, while the MSVG agreed to install a handicapped-accessible toilet in the main bathroom and one in the half bathroom. The construction of the project took about 15 man hours, according to the release. Rick Connor Inc. had to modify the plumbing to fit the new shower. Schmitt said he is eternally grateful to LTDAN for providing this critically needed retrofit, and acknowledged the MSVG for providing the administration and partial financing to see this project through. “This kind of partnership has doubled the benefit to this veteran and moreover proves once again the value of teamwork,” Ball said. “Both of our organizations provide nontraditional veterans services and these deserving individuals, to whom we owe so much, are entitled to all the assistance we can provide.”

Al Schmitt's bathroom during the sit in bath retrofit

Bathroom before sit-in bath retrofit

Al Schmitt's bathroom after the sit in bath retrofit

After sit-in bath retrofit

Al Schmitt's bathroom after installation of handicap-accessible toilet

Handicapped-accessible toilet