SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Juan Perez, a retired air force and army veteran from San Benito, is one of many couples dealing with mobility and accessibility issues in their own homes.

As a way to proactively help Perez and his wife, the Brownsville Fire Department Mobile Integrated Healthcare Division, along with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and the Texas Ramp Project, gathered this morning to built a front-porch wheelchair ramp in front of Perez’s home.

“This has been a great thing for me – a lot of help, and I appreciate everything they’re doing for me,” says Juan Perez. “The space on the trailer is not that much. It’s my duty to take care of my wife. It is kind of sad to say it’s very hard.”

Hector Martinez, a paramedic for the fire department’s Mobile Integrated Healthcare Division, scheduled a house visit to find out the best possible way to help after hearing of Perez’s situation.

“This particular referral came to me actually from a family member – from my father,” Martinez tells Valley Central. “We came and did an evaluation and found that one of the most pressing needs was getting a ramp built.” 

With the help of local grants, The Texas Ramp Project, a non-profit organization that provides free wheelchair ramps to low-income elders and people with disabilities, was able to donate over $1,200 worth of building materials for the ramp.

The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) also helped put this project together by bringing in over 20 volunteers from across the valley to construct the ramp.

A member from the CVMA even went as far as personally donating a hospital bed for Mr. Perez’s wife.

Daniel Apache Villarreal, public relations officer of the CVMA, says, “We volunteer and we help veterans get the resources or send them to places where they can get help. That’s our main goal – helping out our fellow veterans.” 

The ramp was completed today around noon – taking only 4 hours to build.

Juan Perez says he is not only thankful for all the organizations that took part in this project, but he advises other veterans like himself to reach out to these organizations if they need help.

“I met each and every one of these guys – the whole group, and they’re beautiful people. They’re there to help you,” Perez shares.