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HOMELESS VETERANS UPDATE
Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program
Home Depot Grant Report
Home Depot Community Grant—201501115
Community Impact Grant for $3,000
On July 31st, the Home Depot Foundation announced that the Thomas M. Brady American Legion Post 45 was awarded a $3,000 com-munity impact grant for needed repairs to Cherokee County Veteran homes.
The Grant, which is to be used for disabled Veterans who are financially challenged, own their homes and are in need of minor home repairs that they are unable to perform. Disabled Veterans who served during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm or Iraqi/Afghanistan are eligible for qualified projects through this program.
Jim Lindenmayer, Director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program who is heading up this project stated that “This pro-gram is intended to provide material support for repair projects and there is no requirement that the Veteran in need belong to the Ameri-can Legion.”
“This is a Cherokee County-wide program and we are working with the other Veteran organizations within Cherokee County to help identify our fellow Veterans who need minor repairs done to their homes,” Lindenmayer added.
The grant from The Home Depot Foundation is part of the company’s nationwide effort, in partnership with Veteran service organiza-tions like American Legion, to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military Veterans and their families.
About Giving Back at The Home Depot
Since the first The Home Depot store opened in 1979, giving back has been a core value for the Company and a passion for its associ-ates. Today, The Home Depot, in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military Veterans and their families and aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Through Team Depot, the Company’s associate-led volunteer force, thousands of associates dedicate their time and talents to these efforts in the communities where they live and work.
Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $85 million to provide safe housing to Veterans, and along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 17,000 homes for Veterans.
The Home Depot Foundation Grant was used to assist three Veterans as follows:
Disabled Desert Storm Veteran in need of a new wheelchair ramp
Vietnam Veteran living alone with his disabled son in need of general home repairs
WWII Veteran with mobility issues in need of a wheelchair ramp
Home Depot Community Grant provides Desert Storm Veteran with new wheelchair ramp
Mike volunteered to serve his county as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) specialist during Desert Storm. During his deployed tour of duty he became exposed to Agent Orange canisters during a disposal project and some years later he developed complications from his exposure that caused him to use a wheelchair for mobility.
The home Mike came to live in had a very crude wheelchair ramp that would require a turn on grass at one junction of the ramp and was very close to his house on the second section of the ramp. On rainy days, he would have to navigate his wheelchair into the grass with the potential for his wheelchair to tip over and land him in mud. On the other downward leg of the existing ramp, Mike would have to hope that he could stop his wheelchair so that he did not run into the side of his home.
Upon reviewing his issues with the current ramp the volunteers of American Legion Post 45 along with volunteers from the Soleil Veterans Club joined together to demolish the old ramp, design and build the new wheelchair ramp for this Veteran using material funding from the Home Depot Grant. The volunteer workforce of retired Veterans that showed up each day to help came early and stayed late during the project so that they could help a fellow Veteran in need.
After putting in over 125 man hours of labor into the project by the volunteer workforce this Desert Storm Veteran now can safely exit and enter his home via his new ramp.
Post 45 partners with Cherokee County Senior Services to help Vietnam Veteran provide needed home repairs
Dewey was drafted and served with the Army Signal Corps in Long Bihn during the Vietnam conflict. During the entire time in the Army his squad and platoon mates were there to help and support each other during the Tet Offensive in early 1969. Recently, several members of American Legion Post 45 of Canton, supported by other volunteers including a re-cently retired Air Force Veteran, Pat Kenny, one of the directors of the Cherokee County Sr. Services, Judy Davila of the Cherokee County Volunteer Council on Aging (VAC), and John Wallace, staff member from Congressman Loudermilk’s staff, mustered out to do a number of home repairs to Dewey’s
What was impressive is not that Veterans showed up to do the many days of work, but the fact that the volunteer groups represented Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm and Afghanistan era Veterans. The oldest Veterans of the team were Bob Humphrey, a decorated Korean Army Veteran, and his wife Charlene, a member of the Post 45 auxiliary. They all showed up to do various repairs such as repair a broken wheelchair ramp, repair and replace parts of the back deck, install shutters, replace a worn out doorway to the house and shim up the living room floor that Dewey was not able to get done due to him being the sole caretaker of his disabled son. All of the materials were purchased from the
Community of Veterans come out to Build a WWII Veteran his own Red Ball Express Ramp to ease his mobility issues
Isaac is a down to earth 89 year old Veteran of WWII who as a young man served his county and got a chance to see the world, or at least Europe, from his truck delivering fuel and munitions on the Red Ball Express, supporting General George Patton’s Third Army. Many years later this Veter-an’s wheels are not that young, and getting into and out of his house required a new set of wheels. The issue now, as it was in WWII, was that the Red Ball Express had to be designed and built.
In WWII you had combat engineers to do the work, and today you had a platoon of volunteer Vet-erans that came together from all over the county to help build the 90+ foot wheelchair ramp. Through a materials grant from the Home Depot Foundation, additional funding from both the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans fund and the Volunteer Aging Council, along with a strong volunteer team from American Legion Post 45 Canton, American Legion Post 316 Woodstock, So-leil Veterans Club Canton, and the Woodstock Marine Corps League a new Red Ball Express was able to be designed and built for this WWII Veteran.
It was one of the most complex projects that our team had undertaken to date as we had to adapt and overcome many design and installation issues. There were times during the first couple of days that we were not sure we were ever going to get this project done, but in the end it came out perfect.
There was a running joke with Isaac and our designer, Vietnam Navy Veteran Roger Mickelson, to see if we knew what we were doing, so in the end Roger added something special for Isaac to use once we left.
Home Depot Grant Report
Home Depot Community Grant—201502294
Team Depot Grant—$2,700
Community Marines come out to help Combat Wounded Iraqi War Veteran as part of Marine Corps Birthday Celebration
As part of this past years 240th Marine Corps birthday celebration, former Marines from Woodstock Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 45 from Canton, American Legion Post 316 from Woodstock, and Soleil Veterans Club of Canton came out to support former Marine and store manager Shawn Brooks and his Team Depot project team build a privacy fence for a combat wounded Marine who served in Iraq. Highly decorated SSGT David Payton served 10 years in the USMC and was blinded in a mortar attack in Iraq during his last tour. Being medically retired from service and with eight children, a need arose for a fence for his children and service dog.
Working through mostly wet and muddy conditions, the Marines, supported by veterans from the Army, Air Force, and Navy would not give up on the project until the last fence picket was nailed in. In honor of the 240th Birthday of the Ma-rine Corps on November 10th, a special cake cutting ceremony was held with Shawn Brooks cutting the cake with a sabre and recognizing the oldest, and youngest Marines who worked the project. To recognize the end of the project, the group decided that we should do something special to have the project remembered. What came out of the project recognition idea was to have all of the people who worked the project to provide a single rank insignia that could be incorporated into one of the cross beams of the fence by the house. As you can see from the picture on the next page there were a number of ranks that helped with the project. SEMPER FI
Give us a call or send us an email for more information about the program.
Canton Post 45 160 McClure Street Canton, Ga. 30114
Director Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program
Giving a Hand Up—Programs that help our Vets
We are grateful to have the material support, and especially the team support, from the Cherokee County Home Depot stores and the Home Depot Foundation. Through the efforts of people like Shawn Brooks, Store Manager at the Woodstock store, Jason Finck, the Pro Account team lead from the Canton store 145, and his team including Angel Quintana, we were able to develop a great team for these projects. They kept us on track with material selection and delivery. We could not have done it without their support
American Legion Post 45
160 McClure Street
Canton, GA 30114