Army active reservist William Bruck has served three tours overseas, and now spends his days raising his eight children, who range in age from 8 months to 17 years.
He is a man who has dedicated his life to assisting others, something he has carried into his career at home in Monroe, Michigan.
“You can be successful in whatever you do, as long as you’re passionate about it,” Bruck tells PEOPLE. “My passion is working with vets, because that’s who I am.”
Three years ago, the veteran bought a Visiting Angels franchise and went to work helping the elderly maintain their coveted independence, with a special interest in assisting fellow vets. To ensure those who have served our country got the home health care they needed, but oftentimes could not afford, Bruck went through the extensive process of becoming a home healthcare provider through the VA, which makes his company’s services available to more veterans.
Building on this passion, Bruck not only offers affordable care to veterans — which allows them to maintain their independence and dignity — but he visits many of his clients himself.
“We connect really well. I start talking with the vet and they will start telling me stories right after I introduce myself as a veteran. Many times I have been told by family members, ‘Wow, I have never heard that before,’ ” the veteran says.
Recently, Bruck has been brining a sidekick on this friendly trips: his 105-lb. Newfoundland dog named Nash. Though he’s obviously a big dog, Nash is the perfect size for providing supportive snuggles to veterans: When he’s seated, his head perfectly reaches the arms of those confined to wheelchairs, or others lying in their beds.
This holiday season, Nash and Bruck have a special surprise for the veterans they visit, some of whom have no family whatsoever. As part of their Angels to Vets program, the pair is stopping at the homes of veteran clients to drop off baskets of toiletries, food, clothes and Christmas dinner ingredients, for those who don’t have a place to celebrate.
On these special trips, Nash, who turns 1 on Christmas Eve, will be decked out in his holiday best and offering kisses to all who ask.
“He loves to gives kisses. We tried to break him of it, but the vets we visit love for him to lick their beards,” says Bruck.
Bruck hopes that this work, which warms his heart, will inspire others to help these important people who’ve given our country so much.
“We’re losing such a valuable part of population in vets, so lets take care of the ones that are with us while we still have that opportunity,” he asks.