Veterans learning from teen volunteer

A common connection

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - While most kids have their eyes glued to video games, one Salisbury teen has his heart glued to veterans.

Drew Hastings has proven,  you're never too old to learn, and never too young to teach.

While most teens would still be sound asleep so early in the morning, 3 days a week at 6:30 sharp, Drew isn't most teens.

"I do it for the vets, the love of the vets," said Drew while working his volunteer job in the cafe.

It might just be the place where love is needed the most. Drew volunteers in the hospice building at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury. Every minute there is precious, and every introduction comes with a bit of a surprise.

"I always start with, I say my name's Andrew Hastings and I point down to my leg and I say I think we have something in common"

Most 80 year old men don't believe they'd have much of anything in common with a 13 year old boy... Until they actually look down and see. Drew's left leg is amputated at the knee.

"It would take me all day to tell you about Drew. He's a wonderful young man. He's helped me a lot," said veteran Jack Fox.

Jack lost his leg just 4 months ago, in a tragic turn of the table, Drew is the veteran in this situation. He lost his in a car accident in 2007.

"He knows all of what's going to happen when they take the leg off because he's been through it. I appreciate every minute I spend with him," said Jack with tears in his eyes.

The tears used to come from the trauma of losing such a precious part. But for Jack, they now come from a place of pride and joy.

Drew proudly explains the good he feels his mission does for veterans.

"Some of them are in a depressed shell, and I can come in a break that shell and completely turn their attitude around and that inspires me to go to the next vet and the next vet."

Losing a leg is a lot easier, for both men, when such a treasure in a friendship replaces it.

Now Drew needs some help of his own. He's quickly outgrowing his prosthetic leg. Refuge Riders and Tilley Harley Davidson are sponsoring a police-escorted motorcycle benefit on Saturday. All the proceeds will go to help Drew get a new leg.

The ride starts Saturday morning with registration at Tilley Harley-Davidson in Salisbury starting at 9 a.m. The ride starts at 10 a.m. Registration is $20 per biker and $5 per rider. The will be hot rods, lunch, T-shirts, vendors and family fun. For more information you can e-mail

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