Homeless vets invited to celebrate life of Marine in Manchester on Sat., March 30

Homeless veterans are invited to celebrate the life of Sgt. Michael Boyd and raise awareness for homeless vets on Saturday, March 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the hall of FaithBridge Church in Manchester, 301 South Main St.

Former Marine Sgt. Michael Boyd served proudly, including a tour in Afghanistan. He was a decorated Marine who loved serving his country. His story is not unique. He returned from Afghanistan with PTSD and an opioid addiction. During the height of his addiction he was one of thousands of homeless veterans. Michael lost his battle on October 02, 2018 due to a heroin overdose.

In an effort to do something good with our deep grief, his mother and I have created an event in his honor as the first birthday without him approaches.

I suggested a cook-out which has grown to a venue, food, barbers donating their time, gift bags with amazingly practical items gathered through the generous donations of the community via an Amazon WishList and a variety of resources. We have been gifted an extraordinary amount of special donations from various businesses in the area, as well as a major cash donation from the Nam Knights of America Motorcycle Club Granite State Chapter. Lowes on Amherst St. donated 890 pairs of hand warmers, 66 knit beanie hats and several pairs of gloves. A company, who wishes to remain private, donated 144 pairs of gloves as well. The VA gave us numerous items with the crisis number on them to include in the bags.

Keller Williams in Bedford made our biggest dream happen. Michael was never without a Red Sox hat. We wanted to much to be able to give the veterans a special gift from Michael, but it seemed impossible. We don’t qualify for the Red Sox foundation, and even if we did, we didn’t have enough lead time. Keller Williams generously donated 100 Red Sox caps, and, if that isn’t amazing enough, they had tags made to be sown into the caps with the Veterans Crisis number on them.

A representative from the Mayors office will be attending to present Michael with a proclamation, as this entire event is being held in his honor. The Marine Recruitment Center will be sending two Marines in dress blues to stand in for Michael in his honor. Three Veterans from the Manchester police force have generously volunteered their time to come to the event as well.

Varnished, an upscale barber shop in Manchester, has offered up 3 barbers to provide hair cuts and beard trims to our veterans. Walmart and Costco have provided us with gift cards.