New, more accessible backyard gifted to Colorado Springs veteran

Military Matters

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs Army veteran got a major backyard transformation Wednesday. It’s all thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and Purple Heart Homes, who improved not only this American hero’s home, but her life too.

About 40 volunteers worked to transform retired Army Staff Sgt. Audrey Bocock’s backyard.

“I love to garden, I love plants. I’m a nature bug, so there’s no happier place for me to be than with my hands in the dirt,” said Bocock.

But putting her green thumb to work hasn’t been easy.

“I would have to scoot, and my shoulders and arms were kind of fried, so it would be a little bit tough on my body,” said Bocock.

Bocock spent time serving in Afghanistan. While there, she suffered permanent injuries to the left side of her body, along with a traumatic brain injury.

“The only place I could get was the pad that was already there. I couldn’t get into the yard or into the garden, around the side or anything,” said Bocock.

With the help of Mt. Carmel Veterans Services, Bocock got hooked up with Purple Heart Homes.

“They’re putting in raised flower beds and a raised vegetable garden, and shoot, they’re doing a security system and finishing my bathroom for me,” said Bocock.

“I just love to see her smile and I’m excited for her to be able to get outside, enjoy the outdoors more, instead of having to be inside,” said Fleming.

Bocock knows it takes nurturing to make a garden grow, but it’s nice to be on the receiving end, too.

“To help somebody that’s a 14-year Army vet, a medic that helped save people’s lives in the field, and now we get a chance to help improve her life a little bit,” said Mike Nicholls with The Home Depot.

Come spring, Bocock will be firmly planted in her new backyard.

This project is part of The Home Depot Foundation’s ninth annual Celebration of Service season to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and aid communities affected by natural disasters.

Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has transformed more than 45,000 homes and facilities for veterans across the country.

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