Desperate times call for desperate measures. Bill Shephard served a year in Iraq, and when he returned two and a half years ago, he struggled to find a full-time job. He decided that the only solution was to start his own lawn care business, but he needed some money upfront to buy the gear. That's what prompted him to put one of his Army medals up for auction on eBay.
A news network in D.C. got wind of Bill's plight and aired his story. Within a few days, Bill got a bid on his medal. And it wasn't just any bid.
It was for $2,000.
Then the donations started pouring in. He received emails from generous people wanting to donate or buy him new lawn equipment. The support just seemed to roll in, and before he knew it, the bid for his medal on eBay was just above three grand.
And today, when bidding closed, the medal sold for $5,200.
This story is full of mixed emotions. On the one hand you feel a sense of hope for humanity after so many strangers stepped up to help a man in need, and on the other, you can't help but feel a little sad and angry that an Army vet with a college degree couldn't find a job and had to resort to selling what I assume to be a very meaningful possession.
Unfortunately, stories like Bill's are probably more common than we think -- veteran unemployment is around 12 percent while the national average is around 8 percent. Michelle Obama is doing her part to bring attention to the effort to help veterans in need, but it takes a village.
It's wonderful that Bill got the help he deserved and I wish the same for all vets in need. Their selflessness definitely warrants some in return.
Watch his story: