"Bringing veterans home, one warrior at a time"
The events that would lead to the formation of Operation All The Way Home started sixteen years ago in a United States History classroom at Lancaster High School. Every year the history students planned a culminating community-service project. These year-end projects required applying classroom lessons to the real world, highlighting the relevancy of understanding our nation’s history. At the same time students learned the importance of community service and civic responsibility.
The founding members of OATH hosted the 10th anniversary "Pride of the Nation" Armed Forces Day event as their final project in May, 2013. Through this event the students met SPC Jerral Hancock. After Pride of the Nation, Jerral was invited to the classroom to share his experiences as a combat veteran. His powerful story and message challenged the students to reflect on Jerral's sacrifices for our country. They were inspired by his courageous spirit to fight on, despite his catastrophic injuries, and care for his children and their future.
The students came together to discuss how to support SPC Hancock. Upon discovering that he lived in a crowded mobile home with his son and daughter, they decided that Jerral's greatest need was a home designed to meet his unique health and mobility challenges. From there the students voted, finalized the details of their new project, and called it "Operation All The Way Home," They announced their grass-roots effort to the community on June 14, 2013.
Their mission was to raise funds and break ground for construction of a new handicapped accessible home for Jerral Hancock and his family, within one year. The students' accomplished this mission with the ground-breaking ceremony taking place on May 6, 2014. The construction of Jerral Hancock's new handicapped accessible "Smart Home" was completed on May 29, 2015.
During the Hancock project, it was decided that it was time for the tradition of student organized projects in support of veterans to graduate and become its own non-profit community organization. The size and scope of these projects had simply outgrown the traditional school structure. Operation All the Way Home incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of California, and received its 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS in September 2014.
"There's a lot of need out there across the country. But if every single community in this country does what Lancaster did, what the students of Lancaster High School has done, problem solved."
- Gary Sinise, Actor & Humanitarian
OATH's motto is "Bringing Veterans Home, one Warrior at a Time." Our first major mission, the construction of a new handicapped accessible home for wounded U.S. Army veteran, SPC Jerral Hancock, was completed on May 29, 2015. Our current mission is in support of disabled Vietnam Veteran, Joseph Cruz, whose handicapped accessible home was severely damaged after the powerful Oct. 15 storm that swept through our community.
While OATH focuses on one major mission at a time, the organization also supports veterans and the activities of other non-profit organizations that support veterans, with smaller projects throughout the year. All members of OATH are volunteers, and are honored to serve those who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces.
Operation All The Way Home
It is with great excitement that the members of Operation All The Way Home look to the future. The students, Board of Directors and adult volunteers are dedicated to continuing the tradition of students serving veterans with an organization that will be strong, determined, and highly effective in its non-profit missions: to assist veterans of the United States Armed Forces and to offer unique opportunities to our community's youth that facilitate valuable lessons in coomunity service and civic responsibility.
"It gives me great pleasure to offer my unwavering support for Operation All The Way Home. This program is a true testament to the inherent greatness of the students of the Antelope Valley."
- Steve Knight, U.S. Congressman, California, 25th District