Patrick Wright was born and raised along the Oregon Coast. He spent most of his life in Coos Bay, graduating from Marshfield High School in 1997. After graduation, he joined the United States Marine Corps and completed three combat deployments to Iraq during his 14 years of honorable service as an infantry unit leader. Upon completion of his service, Patrick, like many of our heroes, felt lost and abandoned. He spent two years homeless struggling with post-traumatic stress and suicidal ideations. In his darkest moment, a fellow Marine, Aaron Quinonez, showed Patrick a way to heal and grow through service to the community.
The “Healing Through Service” model has been proven to help those who struggle with mental health issues. The two built a home in Mexico for a homeless family in memory of their classmate and Marine Corps veteran Lance Corporal Bryan Bertrand, RADR 04. When Patrick returned from the trip, he founded Operation Rebuild Hope in 2016 to prevent veterans from becoming homeless. He and a dedicated team of volunteers have rebuilt roofs, built wheelchair ramps, cleaned up houses, removed debris from yards, made ADA improvements, and restored essential services (i.e. heat, water, electricity) to homes to make them livable.
Sometimes the repairs are less about the home, and more about helping the individual. At times, Patrick and his team would simply sit down with struggling veterans in need. Connecting to veterans and offering a sense of community is the heart of Operation Rebuild Hope — to offer a hand or just be a friend who can relate to their experiences. Patrick and ORH have made a difference in the lives of many veterans.
In November of 2018, Patrick noticed a property that had been abandoned for 30 years was for sale, and the idea of Bryan’s Home was born. ORH acquired the property and began the renovations to make Bryan’s Home a reality. After completion in August 2020 (Bryan’s Birth Month), this property has the capacity to be a home to 16 veterans and their families. This includes: 2 ADA Rooms, 2 female rooms, 2 male rooms, and 2 units for veterans with families. Bryan’s Home residents will gain the personal and professional skills that they need to become self-sufficient.
In 2019, Operation Rebuild Hope partnered with Oregon Coast Community Action and turned a two-bedroom apartment into a four-bed emergency housing program. This became known as the Timberwolves Den which is named after 104th Infantry Division that was formed in Oregon and fought in World War II. This program served nearly 20 veterans in its first year of operation. This housing-first approach addresses any addiction, mental health, or physical health issues that may have otherwise prevented our residents from getting into permanent housing. Residents also get assistance with their VA claim, receive help with housing vouchers and obtaining crucial documents (e.g. birth certificate, DD214, identification Card).
Moving forward, we have set our sights on the next stage in creating affordable, more permanent housing. We have received a donation of three small homes and are currently looking for property to serve as the location for a veteran-centered permanent housing community.
Patrick is currently raising his two kids as a single father in the community that he grew up. He continues to struggle with PTSD and suicidal ideations, but this is how he heals. His team and him strive to bring other veterans out of the darkness and rebuild hope and dignity is their fellow brothers and sisters in arms lives.