TOLEDO (WTOL) - Most veterans like Joseph Phelps rarely expect a thank you for their service. That’s what makes grand acts like the donation of a new roof all the more special.
Owens Corning and Habitat for Humanity teamed up for the Roof Deployment Project, a community service they do around the country multiple times a year.
"It’s fantastic,” Phelps, who served in the Army for two years, said. “It means a whole lot to me.”
Phelps fell on hard times financially, so his house on Warwick in west Toledo hadn’t seen the repairs it so desperately needed.
"The amount of money that they was talking about, and being a guy on fixed income, just kind of a little bit outside of my reach," he said.
"Veterans like Mr. Phelps and other veterans just like him, they've sacrificed so much for our country,” said Abby Donnell, a community relations specialist with Owens Corning. “So giving them back when they are down on hard times, this is the least that we can do."
But installing a roof can take the help of an army.
“Me and my guys all jumped on it,” said Jamie Wietrzykowski, owner of 4 Guys and a Roof.
Wietrzykowski’s team of 20, all of whom worked for free, knocked out the roofs on Phelps' house and garage in just over four hours Tuesday, a project that would normally run a person about $10 thousand.
But in this case, a smile from the Army veteran was the only payment accepted.
"Those guys, they're overlooked,” Wietrzykowski said. “Their service and commitment to the country, it actually makes me feel a lot better than a normal project where people are falling on hard times. This person served our country and gave a lot to the community as it is."
Now, a brand new roof sits above this vet’s head -- protecting him, much like he once protected us.