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John Morris

The Patriot Woodworkers with Operation Ward 57 Adopt a Wounded Warrior Family for the Holidays - 2018

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Operation Ward 57



Every year The Patriot Woodworker's adopt a Wounded Warrior or Gold Star family for Christmas. We do this through a great veterans support organization named Operation Ward 57. The Patriot Woodworker's submit an application to Ward 57 to be accepted to receive our family for Christmas, and each year we are chosen to participate. And each year, our sponsors donate wonderful items for us to raffle for this cause. We use 100 percent of the raffle proceeds to purchase gifts for the kids, and a Christmas dinner for the family and to fund related project expenses such as shipping fees for gifts.


Our Mission 
We need your help to accumulate funds for our Wounded Warrior adopted family, who has given much to our nation in physical and emotional sacrifice and much more in family sacrifice. 

The Wounded Warrior Family
This year we are proud to be supporting the Bassett Family from Las Vegas, Nevada.
They include Wounded Warrior, Mr. James Bassett and his wife Mrs. Michelle Bassett, and their two boys Dalen (15 yrs) and Aiden (14 yrs).

(Bassett family, image a couple years old)

Bassett Family


Mr. Basett and his boys

James and his boys


Wounded Warrior James Bassett

James went to Basic Training and AIT at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. He was stationed at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma and attached to multiple units under the 214th Fires Brigade.

His combat deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom were to UAE & Kuwait while he was in Unit 114. His unit was the first live HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) ever fired in the UAE. 




James has many injuries, too many to list here by Mrs. Bassett's account. He has a Traumatic Brain Injury which has affected his impulse control and he has little to no short term memory capabilities. He is haunted by PTSD (mostly survivors guilt and hyper alert behaviors), and James suffers from Avascular Necrosis in his right leg (dead bones) and the family is currently putting off an ATK (above the knee) amputation for as long as possible.  He wears braces from mid thigh to calf as well as ankle and foot braces on both legs. He has Plural Scarring on both lungs due to the fine metals he was breathing while "In Country" for 9 months.

Bassett Unit Patches.png

Army Service

  • Basic Training and AIT - Fort Jackson, South Carolina
  • Permanent Duty - Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
  • Combat Deployments - United Arab Emirates, Kuwait
  • Medals - Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal


The Wounded Warrior Mom and Wife

Michelle Bassett, the hard working mother of two boys and the wife and best friend, and caregiver of her Wounded Warrior husband James is one busy lady! I have been in contact with Mrs. Bassett and I found out the sacrifices and volunteerism spirit is alive and well after her husband James' service and sacrafice to our nation. This family is still giving freely of their time to our country. Michelle is a highly active member and Fellow of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.


I'd like to submit some excerpts of my discussions I've had with Mrs. Bassett.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation brings awareness to the community on the everyday life and struggles of our Military and Veteran Caregivers.

Every state has a "Fellow" our job is to advocate and fight for the rights our Veterans and Caregivers deserve. I am the State of Nevada Fellow. Every year all the Fellows head to Washington DC for a week. We then "Storm the Hill" and have private meetings with our House Representatives and Senators and talk to them about what we need done.

I helped pass two bills that were signed into law by President Trump.

The first bill was the Family Caregivers Act.


Last year I focused on something near and dear to me which was our Vietnam Era Veterans.  I am proud to say because of our Fellows hard work we were able to get enough Co-Sponsors and the VA Mission Act was signed into law by President Trump this year. This bill is the one that expands the Caregiver Stipend currently available to "Post 9/11" caregivers to include "Pre 9/11". It is starting with the Vietnam era since these are the Veterans that are sadly needing full time caregivers. It allows a family member or appointed person to get paid to take care of the Veteran in their home. This way they can spend their last few years at home and not in a state run care facility where they aren't cared for well.


With the Elizabeth Dole Foundation we have a campaign called Hidden Heroes (Tom Hanks is our spokesman) and I was personally able to get a day named Hidden Heroes Day in the city of Henderson Nevada.

I also volunteer with Operation Homefront and I am the Hearts of Valor leader for Southern Nevada.


Family Snapshot by Michelle Bassett

James and I met online through a Cancer support community. He is a Leukemia survivor and I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor. Right after we started communicating he joined the military.

James is a 40 year old Army Veteran who served a combat deployment that forever changed our lives. He is an amazingly strong man who battles mental and physical disabilities daily but still gives 100% for his family. He loves his car and tinkering around with it is cathartic for him. He loves food and is a total meat and potato guy. Watching NASCAR and going to the gym are 2 of his favorite ways to relax.


Dalen will be 15 years old and definitely marches to his own drum. He is a self proclaimed nerd and proud of it. He joined a Dungeons & Dragons club at school and has been enjoying that. He wants to design video games and loves computer graphics as he gets older. He has great taste in music (Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffet, Billy Joel and lots of 80s) so I feel I'm doing something right!


Aiden will be 14 years old in about a month and is the typical "cool kid". He loves all typical teen boys stuff. He has recently started showing an interest in photography and has been taking pics on an old cell phone of mine. He is a jokester but such a sweet kid and loves volunteering with James & I. 


Links of Interest


Prior Years Projects



  • Sorry, only Residents of the US and Canada may participate
  • All are welcome to participate, members, forum hosts, admins and non-members. (John Morris (Founder) and family may not participate)
  • Please allow 1 to 3 weeks for delivery of prizes, most of the time prizes are sent out immediately
  • You may purchase as many raffle tickets as you like
  • Raffle ends 4pm Eastern time, January 1st.
  • 4 names will be randomly drawn by Raffle River, and prizes will be awarded in the order of names drawn, starting with Laguna Certificate, then the Full Size Easy Wood Tools, then the Rikon Slow Speed Grinder, then the Woodriver Spindle Sander.
  • You may also enter by mailing check or money order made out to The Patriot Woodworker and send too: The Patriot Woodworker - 977 Sussex Rd, San Jacinto, CA. 92583
  • You may also request one free entry by submitting your request through regular postal mail, please use address above.


Click on the ticket to enter!




This year, the items our sponsors have donated can be seen in the image below, these are some great prizes folks! The tickets are only 2 dollars with multiple ticket bargains, and your odds of winning are very high given our typical turnout. To view the ticket prices, and to purchase your tickets please click on the Raffle Ticket above!

A full accountability of the proceeds will be reported on at the end of the raffle so you know your hard earned money was used for our Adopted Family.


Please be advised, the Laguna Certificate is also good at their new store, Supermax Tools. In addition, there are many items you can purchase directly with the 500 dollar certificate such as Laguna Bandsaw Accessories for most bandsaws, please see Band Saw Accessories. Their Drift Master Fence System is pretty nice from what I hear.


raffle prizes


In Closing

Ok Patriot Woodworker's, it's time to muster and it's time to show everyone what we are all about! The purpose our woodworking community was created is for this reason, to help those who have served us, and paid the price.

Remember this is not charity, this is not a hand out, this is payback!


Thank you sponsors!

We also need to thank our sponsors Woodcraft Supply, Laguna Tools, and Easy Wood Tools for their generous support and for donating those wonderful items for the raffle! For without them, we would not have a community, nor would we be able to perform the work we do. Thank you guys!






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I just sent out an email blast to all our members regarding our Christmas project, and I accidentally left the heading in the email body "Test Email for Admins Only". That email was not for admins only, I ran several tests before, but I forgot to remove the text for the final email!


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Never got aan e/mail John, But I'm in

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Didn't get an email either, but no mind, I'll still be participating.

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Thank you folks for your contributions thus far! Just the first 5 days of the project and we are almost half way there! Way to go.

Our woodworking community never disappoints!

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23 hours ago, honesttjohn said:

Got my tickets.  Hope I don't win the Laguna one.  That'll end up costing me big time.  lol

Thanks for your contribution John! Hey, there are other items for less than 500 you could pick up from Laguna or Supermax! But if you wanted a 500 dollar discount on their award winning bandsaws, well, ya, it might still cost ya. :D

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25 minutes ago, John Morris said:

on their award winning bandsaws,

their Italian made saws are in a league all their own..

the 16HD is a no regret buy...

there's just nothing else like it...

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Bill, just like last year, that is awesome!!!!!!!!!

Keep in mind folks, it's ok to go over the goal post, at the end of this event, any proceeds over will be sent to the family as well, since the event ends on New Years, a check would be a welcomed gift as well I am sure to kick off their New Year!

Thank you all for your support, and it looks like we are well on our way to meeting our goal!

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Who We Are

Operation Ward 57 Challenge Coin Display Project

We are a woodworking community with an emphasis on sharing and learning the skilled craft of woodworking and all of its related disciplines. Our community is open to everyone who wishes to join us. We support our American veterans and active duty, being a veteran is not a prerequisite to join. Join us now!


Air Force Command Center Plaque

Of course just like most online woodworking communities we are centralized in the arts, crafts, and trades that are woodworking. But, we have another focus in our Patriot Woodworker community, we are the only woodworking community that was founded on our care and concern for our disabled veterans.


Patriot Woodworker Volunteers

The Patriot Woodworkers are an all volunteer community, from the staff and hosts who run our online woodworking community to the members who frequent our forums, you'll find volunteers in all of us. We are not on a payroll, unless you consider the spiritual rewards gained from volunteering, as compensation.



One of the many projects we are working on is a wiki for our online community. A wiki is a great way for woodworkers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge to others, and to impart their knowledge for others to learn from, and utilize as well for their own benefit. We hope you'll consider being a wiki contributor.