I want to introduce you to someone very special to OATH.   This is Sterling Keith of Kountze, Texas.  Sterling won’t tell you this, but he’s a Hero.   He’s a warrior, he’s the very best this country has to offer…..and he’s a Hero.  Sterling joined Active Duty Navy in 1984 fresh out of high school.  After serving 10 years in the Unites States Navy, he joined the United States Army where he did another 10 years Active Duty and another 10 years Reserve Duty.  He exited the military in 2015 after serving his country…..YOUR country…..OUR country…..honorably for 30 years.  He never questioned authority.   He never asked “Why me ?”.   He voluntarily raised his right hand and said loudly and boldly “Send me”…..and they did send him….all over the world.  While in the Navy, he served aboard the USS Lexington AVT-16, the NAS Oceana, and the USS Saipan LHA-2.  While in the Army, he served with A Co 1-120th (North Carolina), B Co 1-119th (North Carolina), G Co 536th  (Texas), A Co 1-133rd  (Texas), A Co 72nd  (Texas).  Sterling completed overseas tours in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He served four tours in Iraq:  2003-2005, 2006-2007, 2007- 2008, 2009-2010.  His numerous awards and decorations include Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 10 Year Device, Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Army Commendation Medals, 2 Army Achievement Medals, 2 Meritorious Unit Commendation Medals, 2 Expeditionary Medals with Fleet Marine Force CBT Insignia, 2 Army Good Conduct Awards, 5 Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, 2 National Defense Service Medals with Bronze Service Stars, South West Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, 4 Iraqi Campaign Medals, Army Service Medal, 2 Overseas Service Ribbons, 4 USN/USMC Overseas Service Ribbons, 4 Armed Forces Reserve Medals with M Device, 4 USN Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, 2 South West Asia Medals, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Listen to me, folks.   Sterling and his family need us.   When we needed him, he stepped forward.   When he needs us, we need to do the same.  Due to the unusually wet conditions that have been seen in Southeast Texas recently, their home has settled on both ends.  Speaking to their insurance providers, the Keiths discovered that the foundation rider they have on their homeowners insurance does not cover to have their home leveled, nor does it cover any of the repairs that will be needed to the drywall, ceilings, brick or floors once the home itself is fixed.  Besides the cracking of the walls (please see photos), they have now started to see an issue with the A/C unit where it backs up into their home due to the excess saturation and leveling issues.  The Keiths say it is “manageable” by keeping the drain line cleaned more often and should be better once the house is leveled as the ground will be able to dry out some.

Recently, the Keiths started noticing more cracks:  cracks (both inside and outside of the home) above the windows, cracks above closets, cracks along the ceiling where it meets the walls.  What they believed were cracks in the paint were actually cracks in the drywall itself.  Upon self inspection of the home, they noticed that the foundation of the home was settling at an unusual rate and manner.  When they passed along photos of their home, they were told they needed to get someone to inspect ASAP, so they had a company come out and perform an inspection.  What the inspection found was that the home is literally splitting in half !!!  Each end is settling, with one end settling a little faster than the other which is causing the foundation to split.  So far, they Keiths have no damage to their roof, but if not repaired it is just a matter of time, folks.  The inspection also revealed that the attached garage is damaged as well, with cracks in the concrete running in several directions, and it needs to be “topped off” with a 19’x20′ concrete cap.  The Keiths have a problem with their garage flooding every time it rains heavily.  They turned half of their garage into an extra bedroom about 10 years ago, so you can imagine the situation this is causing for them.  All of the wood and linoleum must be torn out because the cracks in the garage run all the way underneath.  The quote (which OATH has seen) to level the home is $6,950.  The quote (which OATH has seen) to repair the garage is another $2,500, and that brings the total needed right at $10,000, which is what OATH is trying to raise for this family.  After the leveling repairs are done to the home and the garage, the Keiths will need assistance with the repairs to the interior/exterior: installing drywall, replacing the beam in the attic, re-doing the ceilings and floors, painting, brick laying, landscaping, etc…..there is a great deal that will need to be done !!!

Speaking to Rebecca Keith, she said, “As a military family, we are used to things happening that are out of the ordinary, seemingly “out of the blue” type things.  Things that are not good..we role with the punches so to speak..but to be honest.  This one stopped us in our tracks.  Not only did we face a financial burden we knew we could not afford but we were facing the possibility of our house becoming so damaged we could lose it.  It’s a modest little less than 1500 sq ft brick house with 3 bedrooms (4 counting the one we added).  We have 10 acres and 9 cows, 3 of which are calves.  We have a 40×40 shop where Sterling works on cars, motorcycles, etc. (He was an auto-body technician by trade until he was injured and has been told he can no longer work).”

This family certainly needs our collective prayers, but I know we can and will do better not only as an organization, but also as a collective group of OATH Faithful as we dig deep to support this Hero that so many times supported us, our country and our way of life.

On this page you’ll see photos of Sterling’s home.  This home has been paid for by Sterling’s selfless service to our country…it’s that simple, folks.  Sterling and his family were living an American Dream that was paved by his American Service.  What was literally a home celebrating friends, family and good times, is now a home that is on the brink of total destruction as it continues to split in two.  If they are forced to pack up and start all over, they’ll leave behind countless memories and stories of family gatherings and joyous moments that made their family what it is today.  Think about that for a quick minute.  Look up from this screen and scan the room you’re sitting in right now.  Go ahead…do it.   Now imagine that you wake up tomorrow morning, and your home is literally cracking at the foundation and splitting into two pieces.  Imagine that you have to start packing cardboard boxes with memories and treasures that you’ve had so much fun creating and collecting.  Imagine that all of the rooms are borderline unsafe to sleep in and that your family is in danger of being homeless…..literally homeless.  Personally I cannot imagine.   As I look around my own home, I see certain things that bring out great memories of our time spent in this home of ours:  there’s the wall where we chart the growth of our three kiddos…..there’s the staircase where I hope to see my two sons and daughter come down on their way to their first dates, their proms and their graduations…..there’s the kitchen where we cook family meals together and the living room where we have family dance parties and just act silly…..the list goes on and on for me.  My family, and I’m sure yours too, would be crushed if this were to happen to us.  But, like Sterling and his wonderful family, we would lean on others to help us, and we’d lean on God to comfort us…..because that’s what love does.  Prayers would come from all directions, and notes and calls of encouragement and well wishes would abound as we packed out boxes to move to a new home or an apartment or a rental home, and at the end of the day, we’d be left relying on our faith and our friends to slowly put the broken pieces back together so that our family could once again flourish in a new area and a new dwelling.  That’s what Sterling and his family are faced with right now if we do not help, and that’s where we…YOU and I and US…come into play.

 
Below you’ll see a PayPal button.  Click on it.   Use it.   Alot.  Share it.   Share it again.   Then share it again.  Our goal is $10,000, and daily we’ll update this tracker on the right to let folks know where we stand towards our goal.  Now is our chance to support and honor and take care of an American Hero and his family.  Sterling won’t ask you for the help…but I will.   I’m begging you to help this Hero.   He’s one of us, folks.   He’s a son, a husband, a father, a prayer, a warrior, a fighter, a Hero, a fantastic dude that has blessed his OATH family with his friendship even when we didn’t necessarily deserve it.  Dig deep, dig often, and let’s help this fella and his lovely family.  The PayPal button below has a specific embedded code of “Keith Family Emergency Fund”.  Once you donate via this link, you’ll be sent an electronic donation receipt that will include the OATH EIN that you can use for your tax records.  Please, donate any amount you can, and encourage others to please dig deep to do the same.  Let’s grip hands and help this HERO’S family !!!

Again, this embedded code guarantees that all funds received for this effort will go straight to Sterling and his family.   OATH will not keep one red cent of this money.   Your donation under the OATH EIN number of 46-4625678 will solidify your charitable donation, and OATH will in turn cut a check for the full amount received to Sterling and his family.  If you are uncomfortable donating via the online option, you can mail a check (made payable to OATH) to the address of

OATH, Inc.

27314 Piney Ranch Lane

Katy, TX

77494.

Again, please make the check payable to OATH, and in the memo section of the check, please write “Keith Family Emergency Fund”.  I encourage you to share this page on Facebook, on Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever social media outlet it is that you use in your daily lives so that we get maximum exposure for this Hero and his family.   If there are any questions about this effort, you can feel free to email me personally at [email protected]

 

Thank You, and God Bless.

 

Gary J. Bartels, Jr.

Founder and Executive Director,

OATH, Inc.