As part of Bengals.com's high school journalism program, this story is written by a member of the journalism club at Cincinnati's Aiken New Tech High School headed by Lakisha Zyyon and Susan McElroy.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Bengals recently teamed with Operation Ramp It Up to help a veteran in the community.
Ramp It Up is an organization started in Cincinnati by Greg Schneider, a former UPS driver. He realized that some of our disabled veterans were not being served adequately because they were denied the most basic of considerations. They did not have the means to enter and leave their homes. So about eight years ago in his spare time he started installing ramps and it has since blossomed into a program now in 43 states and also serves non-veterans.
The Bengals and Ramp It Up decided to work together two years ago with the help of the NFL and last month seven Bengals players gathered at the Elmwood Place home of Arthur Coffey, a U.S. Army veteran who served in the medical corps in the late 1950s.
It was a day off for Chris Evans, Evan McPherson, Mitchell Wilcox, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Josh Tupou, Clay Johnston and Cam Sample and each player had many reasons to spend their off days helping build the ramp for the veteran. They didn't do this for image, but because they actually cared. Not only were they building one of the 160 ramps nationwide, they were honoring a veteran.
"It helps both of us," said Coffey, who is married. "She has to use a walker and a wheelchair. It makes it a lot easier for both of us."