Bill Hastings, a woodworker out of Alcona County, joined the Airforce in 1955 and served eight years.
Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in his woodshop, creating masterpieces and walking canes for his fellow veterans. Hastings provides custom canes for free and has already made hundreds. “There’s 341,” he said. “We’ve done everything from brigadier generals, to commanding officers of naval ships, to buck privates and less.”
All of the work done on the canes can take a while, but they’re done with precision to ensure those receiving them are getting a quality product. “From the time we get an order or request from a G.I. it’s about a month.”
While Hastings doesn’t charge his fellow veterans, he does appreciate donations that go towards creating the canes. It’s more about making sure they have what they need and getting that good feeling of helping someone out. “You know, some things in life you do, you don’t have to get paid for it,” said Hastings. “You just do it because you know it’s the right thing to do and you enjoy doing it.”
Veterans who are looking to get a cane made for them can contact the veteran’s cane group by phone at 989-724-7222.