Vets for Vets – 1010


Fund Type: Passthrough Fund

Jeff Thompson, a retired Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is proud to help wounded vets enjoy a day on the water as his way of paying it forward. Jeff’s determination to fish despite his injuries led to the creation of the Fish ‘n Rail™ system, which allows anglers and boaters with disabilities to get around their boats and safely back on the water. 

Vets 4 Vets takes special requests to help those with special needs from children to elders suffering from heart attacks, strokes, hip, and knee replacements because their balance issues prevent them from enjoying the water as they have in the past.

After a successful career in the Marine Corps as an A4 Skyhawk and AV8B Harrier pilot, retiring in 1993, Jeff’s back continued to deteriorate from Deteriorating Disc Disease, compounded with the years of hard landings and high “G” forces.  During the summer of 2007, his passion for fishing came in jeopardy. By now Jeff was fishing from my boat on his hands and knees. In a failed attempt, the VA Hospital performed 32 spinal injections and 8 ablations in an attempt to mitigate the deterioration. 

From a 2010 suggested wheelchair and morphine pump, to a successful radical surgery, three months in a medically-induced coma, 14-inch long Titanium rods, 12 Titanium bolts and two years learning how to walk, Jeff’s idea to take other injured veterans out for a day on the water was his way of paying it forward.

Now, Vets 4 Vets has opened its doors to all veterans from all branches of service and their families. While many current veteran support charities limit their donations to post 9/11 injured vets, Jeff and his wife, Carol, founded Vets 4 Vets as their commitment to improve quality of life for disabled veterans. Established through the Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC), Vets 4 Vets is an Indiana 501c3, allowing tax-exempt donations. Jeff and Carol do not use any of the donations to cover expenses such as travel, boat repair, etc.

Vets 4 Vets relies completely on donations, large or small, from generous individuals, businesses and organizations. Vets 4 Vets is strictly a volunteer program of veterans supporting veterans. Jeff and Carol encourage everyone to join them in their quest to make a difference, here and now, in supporting military members who have sacrificed so much to serving our country.