Oklahoma Farrier Back In Business With Help Of Veterans Group
TULSA, Oklahoma - It's been three weeks since thieves stole a Tulsa farrier's livelihood.
But while his trailer filled with thousands of dollars' worth of horse shoeing equipment disappeared, he said the crime has brought out the best of Oklahoma's Own.
For a quarter of a century, C.J. Ward has earned a living by making personalized horseshoes, but when his trailer disappeared his income went to zero.
"You still got to eat and pay your bills," Ward said. "I've been looking for part-time work."
Before Ward's passion for horses took over, he served in the Marine Corps.
Ralph Henderson and the Vietnam Veterans of America decided they needed to do something to help their fellow vet.
"I called a couple of our board members and we put together a check and we presented it to him last Friday," Henderson said.
The check for $1,000 isn't enough to replace everything that was taken, but Henderson said it's a start.
"They stole his livelihood and we just tried to give him a little bit of it back," Henderson said.
Ward said his business will never be the same. A local blacksmith found his stolen hammers, but he misses the rest of his specialty tools every day.
To fill the void, he's ordered new ones.
"I will be able to reset the shoes that I have on there and trim and do quite a bit of work," Ward said.
Ward is used to helping others, so he admits it's difficult to be on the receiving end.
"In this case, it was friends I didn't even know I had. It makes a big difference," he said.
"It's just our pleasure to help veterans, and especially when something like this happens to them, where they have no control over it," Henderson said.
Ward hopes to open his shop back up for partial business on Wednesday.