On Aug. 3 at the Candor Fire Department the Captain Tim Neild Life of Service Benefit was hosted by Bridging America’s Gap Veterans Organization and Team Timmy.
Captain Tim Neild led a life of service, and in his honor Team Timmy is working to give back to the community. The funds they raise at this benefit will not only support a scholarship at Candor High School but also help raise awareness and funds for brain injury and mental health agencies, veterans’ resources, and suicide prevention.
After he had graduated from high school, Neild suffered a brain trauma from an accident. About six months later he was deployed and served in Afghanistan for a year. He was wounded, suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had an injury to his back.
Upon returning home and going back to work, about nine months later Neild had a horrendous motor vehicle accident leaving burns on parts of his body and more brain injury, and he would spend some time in a coma, recovering at Walter Reed Hospital for an extensive period of time.
After facing so many of life’s challenges, Neild died in October 2017.
At the benefit there were tables set up by various organizations such as Veterans of Modern Warfare, Vet Center, Tioga County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Tioga County Veterans Services, the Brain Injury Association of NY, Angels over Afghanistan and more.
Team Timmy members were also running a bake sale, 50/50, basket raffle and chicken barbecue to raise funds.
Neild suffered two brain injuries, and representatives of the Brain Injury Association of NY were on hand with information. A brain injury is caused by an external force to the head or an internal incident that disrupts the normal function of the brain, such as a stroke. Survivors can face effects lasting a just few days or disabilities that last the rest of their lives.
Many of the veterans’ organizations on hand also had tables full of information for those in need.
Tioga County Suicide Prevention Coalition Director Wendy Arnold and her staff were also present with information. The number of veterans choosing to take their own lives has many organizations concerned. Many citizens outside the military also die by suicide, and Arnold and her coalition members are trying to help change the numbers by holding classes and forums that teach how to recognize when a loved one is contemplating suicide as well as providing resources to those who are contemplating suicide.
At 2 p.m., Neild’s sister Aubrey spoke to those present about the purpose of the fundraiser and the scholarship in honor of Neild. Leah O’Connell, a Candor High School 2019 graduate, received a $2,000 scholarship in honor of Neild. O’Connell will be going into early education. Those applying for a scholarship need to be going into community service.
“We have the power to help each other and should.” Aubrey Neild stated. She also reported that Team Timmy is looking for ideas for community service.
Next to speak was Rick Neild, Tim Neild’s father, who reported on being part of a 22 mile memorial motorcycle ride in honor of his son. He broke down while talking about his son, saying, “He was an inspiration to so many people in so many ways. Average was not good enough for him.”
After this benefit and other fundraisers, Team Timmy is working to hopefully be able to offer scholarships to Candor High School and Spencer High School in 2020.
The Candor High School Scholarship fund page is gofundme.com/captain-tim-neild-life-of service-scholarship-2019.