Warriors Oath, Lowe’s donate new stove to local navy veteran

Published 10:02 am Friday, January 7, 2022

SISTER LAKES – With the help of some community members, a local charity and an appliance store, one local veteran has a brand-new stove to start off 2022.

Warrior’s Oath, a Dowagiac-based charity comprised of military veteran-bikers, donated a new stove provided by the Elkhart Lowe’s to Navy veteran Bud Saetre on Jan. 1.

Organized by local resident Kim Haneberg, who noticed a Facebook post from Ronnie Kay asking for help in acquiring a new stovetop for Saetre, whose stovetop only had one working burner. Haneberg notified members of Warrior’s Oath, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping veterans, and the group did the rest.

“When we hear somebody needs something, we do what we can to help them out,” said Warrior’s Oath president James “Diesel” Stevens. “We can’t always be there, but we try.”

Stevens said Saetre was “tickled pink” by the donation, and Saetre’s daughter, Kim Sorden, expressed her gratitude in a Facebook post.

“Thank you, Ronnie Kay, Kim Haneberg and Warriors Oath for caring enough to make this happen for my dad,” Sorden said. “He was so touched and couldn’t believe it.”

Stevens said Haneberg contacted him because she knew he had connections and was dedicated to helping veterans. When he heard about Saetre, he called the Elkhart Lowe’s, which Warrior’s Oath’s charity status is registered through, and the store donated the stove
for free.

“I Just want to say thank you so much to Warriors Oath for all you do to help our brothers and sisters of the armed forces,” Haneberg said, in a Facebook post. “What a blessing you are to the community. Once a service member, always a service member.”

Stevens, a Dowagiac resident, said a kind act from a sergeant 30 years ago, just after the birth of his daughter, was a big reason he continues to give back through Warrior’s Oath.

“I remember eating nothing in the Army, we didn’t have hardly any money,” Stevens said. “One day, it was Thanksgiving actually, my platoon sergeant showed up with a turkey basket with all the food for Thanksgiving dinner, and it made me feel pretty special.”

According to Stevens, Warriors Oath donated clothes, money and Christmas gifts to the family of an Air Force veteran whose Niles home was destroyed by a house fire earlier this year.

The group also hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to support area veterans, as well as offering $500 dollar scholarships to area students in honor of Ron “Highway” Smith, who passed away in 2020.

“Our motto is ‘Family. Country. Community,’” Stevens said. “So, we’re a family organization. We are there for our community and of course we’ve all fought for and served under the United States for our country.”