WTMJ’s Libby Collins sits down with Quentin Hatfield, Executive Director of VetsNet, to discuss his interesting family history and the ways that VetsNet helps veterans throughout Wisconsin. Quentin shares some of his favorite experiences working with VetsNet, as well as how people can receive help from them. Listen in the player above.
A partial transcript is provided below, courtesy of eCourt Reporters.
QUENTIN HATFIELD: I’m going to tell you my favorite story, okay. In the summer of 2020 in the midst of a heat wave and the pandemic, I got a call from a veteran in New Berlin. Fred was 94 years old, Navy veteran, World War II, a pensioner, a homeowner, and a widower. And his central air went out, and it’s hot. And as Fred said to me, “You know, I’m just sitting waiting to die, but I don’t want to die in an oven.” So, he — he’s a great guy, one of the most hilariously funny people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. And that’s something for which there just isn’t any resource. But this is the whole miracle of collaboration is this, that’s what we do is we collaborate.
So, I went to a meeting the following day at the Veterans Health Coalition, which is about 130 of us here in Southeast Wisconsin who are all focused on veteran health issues, and someone just mentioned to me, “You look troubled about something,” and so I just spilled it. Within a half-hour, a lady who had left the room came in and said, “I have a friend who’s an HVAC contractor, so I called him.” A couple days later I get a call that says, “Carrier says they’ll donate the unit if we’ll donate the labor.”
And so, within seven days, Fred had air conditioning. And I got to go out and spend some time with him, delightful human being, talked to him again last fall. He’s still there, air conditioner is still working. And he and his little fat dog are doing very well.