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Veteran Values

How One Grandfather Lives on Through His Grandson’s Service to Others

Article by Jill Clark

Photography by Matthew J Capps Business Image Services

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

It’s not unusual for grandfathers to share their wisdom. But World War II Army veteran Bernard “Papa B” Brockmeyer probably never suspected his young grandson would take his words to heart and, in turn, positively impact hundreds of thousands of people—including fellow veterans.

Evan Osgood was only seven years old when his grandfather passed, but he remained inspired by Papa B’s words and service to his country. “He always said the most valuable thing I could do was rally people behind a cause. When you work together, you can overcome anything,” recalls Evan.

As a freshman at Loveland High School in 2020, Even watched the pandemic unfold. “Our only defense against the virus at the time was wearing a protective mask—and there were serious shortages,” he says. When he heard reports of front-line caregivers and others getting sick or dying due to a scarcity of masks, he thought of his grandfather—and took action.

Wanting to help prevent more tragedies, Evan found instructions on how to sew masks online. The first masks went to friends and family, who were so appreciative that they joined the effort, expanding Evan’s efforts into a small team. 

“The people we gave masks to wanted to help, so it kind of exploded from there. I built a website so people could request a mask, which I delivered.” Evan made an especially memorable delivery to a veteran couple who had been inside without masks for weeks, too afraid to go out. “I rang the bell, and stepped back to my car. A woman answered the door, looked at the masks I left on her porch, and burst into tears. She was so appreciative.”

Evan’s expanding team soon began donating to organizations like local food banks and shelters. They held virtual assembly parties where people could connect while making a difference. “It went from me and my friends to over 10,000 volunteers across the country!

Eventually, Evan founded a nonprofit (SOSforPPE) and started shipping assembly kits across the county. He focused on underserved communities, including VA Medical Centers—of the unbelievable 800,000 masks created by volunteers, Evan estimates around 40% went to veteran communities. 

His work with the local VA Medical Center not only provided masks to veterans, it also connected him with Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an organization that ensures veterans and their families can access available benefits and services. 

Evan, who was only following the advice of his grandfather, was honored with a $30,000 scholarship from DAV, which he intends to put to good use—he plans to major in computer science, followed by continued service to his community. 

Evan says Papa B was right. “It really is critical to work together. From me starting in my basement to all the people across the country donating hundreds of thousands of masks? That’s incredible.” Yessir, it is.