After honorably serving 12 years in the Army, Erich Orrick, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, started Wish for Our Heroes, a non-profit organization with the intent of helping other recently discharged veterans.
Orrick’s organization, since 2009, has given more than $10 million in donations. The funds have helped fellow veterans with their relocation needs, the purchasing of new appliances, and has even assisted with childcare needs.
This 44-year-old father of two girls had no idea his local community was even aware of Wish for Our Heroes until he was surprisingly contacted by the Indiana Colt’s Pat McAfee.
In an interview with the IndyStar, McAfee said Orrick was the most selfless person he had ever met.
Enlisting the help of his teammate Colby Fleener, the two Colt’s, having determined that returning Orrick’s generosity was far overdue, concocted a scheme to show their appreciation. Little did Orrick know, he was about to receive the surprise of a lifetime.
“We had to think of an elaborate plan to get Erich out of his house and then to stay out of his house for a few days,” McAfee said.
McAfee and Fleener sent Orrick and his two daughters to Chicago to assist with a charity event. While the three were out of town, they put their plan into action.
McAfee and Fleener invaded Orrick’s home, located just outside of Indianapolis.
In the few days they had, the two of them replaced all of the furniture and appliances in the home. They constructed a new area for the girls to do their homework, and even set up a man cave for Orrick, complete with a brand new TV.
Upon returning home from Chicago, Orrick stated that he was completely spellbound. But what he said next is what really sums up the heart of this selfless man. “My life has been focused on helping other people. … It was a very humbling experience, being the person that was being helped. But I don’t want people to miss the story here, that there’s a lot of troops out there that really need help.”