JOPLIN, Mo. — Retired Army Colonel and lifelong woodworking enthusiast, Dr. Mike Judah recently spent several months and countless hours of his spare time putting together a unique furniture piece that reflects his skill as a carpenter.
“I have built just about everything that you can imagine can be built out of wood. I can build anything out of wood, no problem,” said Dr. Judah.
His most recent work of art is a carefully crafted grandfather clock which took three months, working three hours a day, to finish. However, this isn’t his first attempt at such an intricate piece of furniture. Dr. Judah says he built a similar one not long ago, for his own home. With no need for two 6-foot-tall grandfather clocks in his home, Dr. Judah said he wanted to do something special with this most recent piece of woodworking art. Fellow Army Ranger veteran and friend, Steve Baird, said he was recently approached by Dr. Judah.
“He just called me one day and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a grandfather clock that I recently built and I want to donate it for a good cause,’ which I thought was so great that he wanted to contribute his talents for a greater good,” said Baird.
Baird and Dr. Judah both agreed that the clock creation should benefit other veterans, and “Our Veterans First” was the organization they decided to go with.
“Our Veterans First is pretty unique. Their mission is to help local veterans that don’t get any help anywhere else. Particularly veterans who are homeless or who are at-risk is who the organization really helps. A lot of people like to donate to Wounded Warriors or big, national veteran charities like that, and all those are good, but with the organization we chose, your money stays local and helps folks here, and you’ll be able to see where the money goes,” said Baird.”
“After I talked to Steve and found out that he had been an Army Ranger, I got to thinking about Our Veterans First and I thought, ‘Well, this would be a good place to put the funds that we raise,’ so really after spending time researching the organization that Steve recommended, it felt like the right place to donate to,” said Dr. Judah.
The grandfather clock that Dr. Mike Judah built is currently on display at Henkle’s Ace Hardware in Webb City, Missouri. You can purchase tickets HERE to enter your name in a raffle. Each ticket is $25 or you can purchase five tickets for $100. The drawing for the grandfather clock will take place on November 11th — Veteran’s Day. Dr. Judah hopes to collect at least $5,000 for Our Veterans First, which is what the grandfather clock is worth, he says. You can view more detailed photos of the grandfather clock, HERE.
“The clock itself comes from Germany and all of the parts are top-of-the-line. The wood is solid, red oak and it’s all handcrafted by me, piece-by-piece,” said Dr. Judah. “Mike comes from that special generation. He served his country in Vietnam where it wasn’t appreciated at the time, and he went over there and did the job and returned home with no fanfare. He served his country well. Those are the kind of men and women I respect more than any others. ‘R.L.T.W.’ — Rangers Lead The Way,” said Baird.