Telling his story in order to help others

Most of today’s post is in Rusty’s words.

Today I share excerpts from emails sent to me by Rusty.  These first three excerpts are about the luncheon where Rusty was one of the speakers.  The audience was comprised of volunteers working to eliminate homelessness, as well as government officials.

“I was introduced as the last vet to receive a voucher for Yavapai County, that is why I spoke, on my homelessness and getting our home.  There are no more vouchers because of federal cuts.  All are trying to get things lifted to help all homeless people.”

“I was the only speaker as a homelesstohome veteran, and I told them how it was being homeless and thanked all involved, crying.  Bob told the people about you, being “” in helping to find, and getting Timber back to me plus having  housewarming gifts from all your followers of your blog.”

Some of the gifts received or bought with gift cards.

Some of the gifts received or bought with gift cards. (Photo by Rusty)

Bob is Rusty’s VA representative.  He emailed Rusty and told him what a good job he did and also that he is proud of him.  So am I!  It’s not easy speaking in front of a big room full of people you don’t know.

Speaking of being proud . . .

Look who’s proud of his new bed!


He’s such a handsome boy on that blue and tan comforter!  (Photo by Rusty)

The photo came with the following message.

“Hi Sue,

The bedroom is slowly coming together.  As soon as the bed was made, Timber jumped up on it and the look on his face was as if he was saying, ‘All right, Dad.  We can sleep in a real bed and not on that ol’ couch.’  You betcha, Timber.”

I’m proud of the readers of my blog, too.

You can see how your housewarming gifts, both material and monetary, are turning Rusty and Timber’s house into a home.  (If you are unaware of the housewarming, open up the page from the header of this blog.  Feel welcome to join in!)

A thoughtful gift of personal photos!

A thoughtful gift of framed photos sent by loyal readers of this blog and dear friends of Rusty and Timber!              (Photo by cinandjules)

Thank you, Rusty, for letting me share your emails.  I appreciate the little vacation from blog-writing!


P.S.  This came from Rusty after I posted the above blog entry:

“Thank you, Sue, for explaining the summit luncheon.  I really feel for all those who are suffering without homes.  Even the AZ State Attorney told me that was a great story, it touched everyone’s heart.  I thank you, Sue, for your support in keeping me in line to stay the course.  And it’s peaceful here.  In the mornings I hear roosters crowing, donkeys braying, and horses calling for breakfast.  I filled up the bird feeder, put out suet, and when I find a good hummingbird feeder, that will go up soon, too.  Timber and I are so happy that we now have a meaningful life and We Thank You All.”  — Rusty


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57 Responses to Telling his story in order to help others

  1. gingerda says:

    What a great story of life. Very brave of Rusty to get up in front of a group of people and speak.
    I enjoyed seeing the pictures of how Rusty’s home is coming along. Timber sure looks comfortable on the cozy bed.
    The framed pictures that cinandjules did are really nice!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very brave indeed… especially when talking on a personal topic, too.

      • Donna in W. Texas says:

        One of the things that makes a house a home are photos. God bless the people who were thoughtful enough to send Rusty the framed photos.

  2. gingerda says:

    Forgot to say what a beautiful lake that is in the background of the photos, where is that taken?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll let cinandjules tell you about their lake.

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      We live in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

      • Eileen P. says:

        I grew up not far from Lake George, right at the foothills of the Adirondacks. Haven’t been back in years, but recall what beautiful country it is.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I grew up not far from there, too!

          • Pauline says:

            Me too!!! Sue, do you remember going on picnics at Lake George at place called Rogers’ Point?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Nope. Don’t remember that. I do remember making out outside the pavilion on Lake George. I was bored and couldn’t roller skate.

            • cinandjules (NY) says:

              You don’t remember a name like Rogers Point but you remember making out?

              Oh you’re killing me!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Oh, wait a minute! I got my lakes mixed up. Yes, I remember Rogers Point. The dang water was so cold in July, you couldn’t swim for more than 10 seconds.

      • gingerda says:

        It sure is gorgeous!!

        • cinandjules (NY) says:


          It’s not a “tourist place” like Lake regards to activities. Summer is busy..people rent out their seasonal camps. Year-round population is approx. 50 with 6 households on our side of the lake!

      • Marsha / MI says:

        Every time we head east to visit my brother-in-law in New Hampshire we go up through Canada and stay at Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks before and after our visit with him. The whole area is just beautiful.

  3. Mary Ann (Pontotoc MS) says:

    Each person Rusty’s words touched will carry those words with him/her into life–it’s amazing to think of how much good he did today. Thanks Rusty & thanks Sue.

  4. Alan Rabe says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. I am crying as I write this. I am so happy for Rusty and Timber.
    I just don’t understand a country that can afford 18 billion dollar air craft carriers but can’t afford to house its veterans.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s not only veterans who are losing out, but all homeless people, although veterans are certainly a worthy group.

      Doesn’t that photo of Timber say so much? I love it!

  5. cinandjules (NY) says:

    I’m glad Rusty was chosen to speak about his transition. Just reading the contents of his email choked me up. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I’m sure he has inspired others. I hope the Federal cuts are lifted so others can also make the transition.

    Like you mentioned..I’m sure it was difficult to speak in front of people you don’t even know. We too are so proud of you Rusty.

    Rusty and Timber’s house looks like a home!

    Who would have thought all of this would occur back in April of 2012 when your paths first met. Sue…you truly are a special person. Thank you from our heart for caring and making Rusty and Timber’s transition successful. Thanks for taking the time to blog about your life and letting us join you.

    And finally…thanks for letting me frame your photos of your beloved friends Rusty and Timber.

    This has the potential of being one of those Hallmark movies you see during Christmas. Rusty and Timber….Unconditional Love..the story of a man and his dog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Always enjoy hearing from you! Please respond to Ginger’s question above. Thanks.

  6. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    All I can think to say is, “Wow.”

  7. Brian says:

    Ditto on the Wow!
    I’m speechless.

  8. Eileen P. says:

    RVSue, you are changing lives with your community. Rusty, Timber is a beautiful boy — enjoy your new life!

    Eileen in Phoenix

  9. rvsueandcrew says:

    If you’ve already read today’s post, you should go back and read the postscript added later. Rusty wrote us a lovely thank you.

  10. Mick says:

    Think for a minute about the course of events if, upon seeing “Camo Man”, you had said “Too scary” and hit the road.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I thought I’d meet him, we’d go our separate ways, and that would be the end of it. Makes one wonder what lives we’ve touched that we don’t know about.

      • John fossildreamer says:

        So true So true,,, Have thought of that very often Sue…
        I’m so very happy for Rusty and Timber…
        I also know that he is passing it on…

  11. marcia in pa says:

    We are never aware of what comment, glance, or conversation we have with another person that will change their, or our lives. We are good people, in a great nation, and Rusty and Timber are among the most valuable of us.

  12. Glenda from Glendale says:

    Thanks to Rusty for being the voice for so many, what an inspiration he is!

  13. Gayle says:

    RV Sue, you’ve achieved what we all hope for — to leave the world a better place in some small way. Good for you!

  14. AZ Jim says:

    A nice post about a nice guy by a nice lady. What more could one desire? Once again Sue thank you for starting this and what great results.

  15. Dawn says:

    Kind of speechless myself. Because no words can top Rusty’s. So very happy for him and Timber. Congratulations Rusty on a job well done!

  16. Glenda says:


  17. Tawny says:

    What a beautiful story. I’m proud of you and your readers. Amazing! I miss you. I got your old ElMO this year, still labeled. I guess no one has used it since you left. I hope to come visit you someday, wherever you are. Love you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I miss you, too, Tawny. I’d love to see you.

      What is an ElMO? This is something I owned? I’m drawing a blank. Maybe I didn’t make this morning’s coffee strong enough. 🙂

      • Tawny says:

        Im kind-of glad you forgot ELMO. This further proves you have moved onto better things. It’s the camera that went with the smartboard, which allowed you to project papers onto the board. Just FYI, none of the smartboards work anymore. Betty moved to Iowa and I’m teaching technology. I’m sure your readers don’t care, so I’ll send you an email soon, hopefully your email hasn’t changed??

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, of course! You know why I didn’t know what you were talking about? I thought you were my niece who is also named Tawny! Haha! I was thinking, gee, did I leave a Sesame Street doll at her house? LOL

          Give those dang ELMOs a decent burial. On second thought, don’t bother.

          Yes, I’ve repressed most of my teaching career. Too much stress!! So glad to hear from you. Congratulations on your new position!

  18. Chuck Hajek says:

    Hi Rusty, Glad the talk went well…I have a real hard time talkin’ in front of more than six people. Did Timber attend also? Looks like ya’ did RVSue proud and we thank you for that. Chuck

  19. Ditto to what Chuck and everybody else said to Rusty! You did a good thing talking to those folks today and we are all proud of you! Guess what Rusty? You not only got a new home, you got a whole new family of folks out here! Hug Timber from us! Thank you Sue, because of you we know that no gift of kindness is too small !

  20. Mindy Reed says:

    Oh Rusty, how brave of you to get up and talk and it sounds like you did a wonderful job! I know I can’t speak in public, flunked speech class…LOL.

    I’m so thrilled for you and it sounds like a wonderful area with wildlife and not so wild life (donkeys etc.).
    Maybe a new career in speaking!

  21. Cari in North Texas says:

    This blog and Rusty and Timber’s story is like tossing a pebble into a lake. One tiny stone, causing ripples that touch other things, which in turn affect other things. I’m so happy to be a small part of this community and in helping Rusty get settled into his new home. “Paying it forward” certainly has been illustrated by this story. Rusty, I’m so proud of you for sharing your story!

    I like the idea of a Hallmark movie – RV Sue and Crew:The Adventures of a Modern Wanderer. Hmmm, who would play RVSue?

  22. Renee (from Datil) says:

    What a wonderful thing Rusty is doing; from your description, he’s a bit of a loner, so I imagine it was a bit hard for him to speak in front of a group of folks.

    And Sue, if you should become a crotchety old lady & never do another good thing (which is very unlikely!), your place in Heaven is assured by getting Rusty & Timber’s story. If you hadn’t published the stories about Rusty, he’d be in a much different situation now; likely both Timber- and home-less.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Renee… Thank you for your kind words. (My place in heaven is secured by accepting my Savior, not by anything I do on this Earth, but I know what you mean. I appreciate the thought. :))

      • Clayton says:

        Thank you RVSue, for reminding us that the only way anyone reaches Heaven is by accepting Jesus, our Savior. I concur with your statement as well. I have not commented on your blog before this, but I found your blog a couple months ago and have read and traveled with you vicariously from the beginning. I believe you to be a thoughtful, kind and giving person. Thank you for the years spent teaching the youth who will some day be the leaders of our nation, and thanks for being open in sharing your life with those who read your blog, for you are touching lives just as you did with Rusty and Timber. Clayton, in TX

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you for your kind words, Clayton. You make me sound wonderful! 🙂 And also, thank you for reading my blog from the beginning. It encourages me when someone tells me that.

  23. Pauline says:

    I think we all consider Rusty and Timber as part of our family. I am so proud of what Rusty has accomplished and proud of Susan’s part in it….as well as all your readers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pauline! The entire story unfolded as it did because of many people along the way. Yeah, I have wonderful readers . . . and I don’t mind bragging about them!

  24. wheelingit says:

    I’m just loving this whole story (which I’ve followed since the very start) and the wonderful way things have come together for Rusty & Timber. Thanks so much for all the work you’ve done to keep us blog-readers updated on everything. It makes us feel part of the story and that’s a very good feeling.

  25. patmonahan says:

    Great blog. I found you after reading Scott Craven’s article about Rusty and Timber.

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