Army Vet Selling Medal On eBay To Support Family - FOX 35 News Orlando

Army Vet Selling Medal On eBay To Support Family

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WOODBURY, N.J. -

If you desperately needed the money to support your family, would you be willing to sell something priceless? That's exactly what a local Army veteran is doing online.

He calls it pan-handling, only this is the high-tech version. He's asking for charity on eBay.

In return, he's selling something you don't often find up for bid.

Bill Shephard reads the certificate he received when the Army awarded him a medal for a job well done: "It says great achievement while assigned to A Troop 102nd Cavalry during combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

It's one of several awards he earned while serving a year in Iraq.

When he returned home in 2009, he thought that would help him land a job, no problem.

"I was very wrong and am still unemployed," Shephard told Fox 29, "and have three beautiful young children that are counting on me for support."

That's what he wrote an ad on eBay, where he put the medal up for sale on Monday.

"Instead of going under a bridge with a sign, 'Will Work for Food,'" Shephard explained, "I decided to place the award online for a bid."

He adds, "I did it just pretty much out of frustration and desperation."

Shephard's 99 weeks of unemployment benefits ran out last October. He had done everything right: he went back to school, he applied everywhere, he sought help from veterans organizations, all to no avail.

"I'm used to supporting the family and being, you know, the one that earns the income," Shephard said.

Neighbors are helping out, hiring him for odd jobs like painting fences and building a garden wall. Shephard also cuts lawns with an old push mower. But it's not enough.

So, for his kids, and having served his country with distinction, he's asking somebody, anybody, to bid on his medal.

He hopes the buyer is "somebody that appreciates the service of the troops in Iraq that have served, and you know, somebody charitable."

Shephard is hoping to use the money he gets from the eBay sale to buy a new lawn mower and a trailer, so he can expand his landscaping business.

By Wednesday morning, with more than five days left in the auction, there had been 45 bids placed and the latest was for $2,025.

For more information on how you can help, email reporter Claudia Gomez at Claudia.Gomez@FOXTV.COM.

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