DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – All over the country Home Depot is fixing the homes of war veterans in thirteen cities. One hundred and fifty homes were selected; repairs will be finished by Veteran’s day. Seven of those homes are in Dallas.
The future home of ex-marine Carmen Toston is on Canada Driver in Dallas. It was easy to find today because it was the one with more than one hundred volunteers in Home Depot orange shirts gathered around it.
The modest shotgun house was bought by “Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas.” The Home Depot Foundation is providing the man hours and material to renovate it. All the work is done by Home Depot employees who are volunteering their time and expertise. It is an extensive renovation. Today the home was completely stripped to the studs. New windows and doors were put in. They have 60 days to get everything done and ready for the family of five.
You can usually find Sandy Hall selling construction material at the Contractors desk at the North Dallas Home Depot. But today she is using it for a good cause.
“It’s such a great honor to serve America, such a great honor to do something. I just can’t begin to tell you what this means to me,” said Hall.
Home Depot likes to support American military veterans because so many of them work for the home builder supplier. Of the 300,000 Home Depot associates, 10% of them served in the military.
The foundation will loan 10-thousand dollars to the ex-marine and mother of four to buy a home.
“To be able to give my kids their own place and their own space for themselves to be able to come and enjoy, it’s going to be so great and I can’t wait” said Toston, who ended her military career in 2002.
The Desert Storm Veteran had a distinguished eight-year career with the Marines. She was the first black woman to fly a marine plane in combat. But the transition from the military to civilian life has been difficult. She is overwhelmed by the army of volunteers and the chance to restart her life.
“I think they are such a phenomenal group of people to come out here and volunteer their time and their efforts…their resources to make this happen for us, for my family” said an emotional Toston.
For the volunteers, they couldn’t wait to start. Rick Vomberg didn’t mind the 100 degree heat, he was just glad .o be swinging a hammer instead of selling one.
“You know we do that daily grind of the retail business then get back to this and give back to my community? We live for stuff like this” said Vomberg.
This house will be completely rebuilt; new plumbing, wiring, exterior and paint along with a new landscaped yard. No job to big, no task too difficult for an army of home repair experts.
“You go to Home Depot and you learn how to do things, They teach you everything and look, look at the result. We do a house.” said Hall.
Today it’s a house. In 60 days, it will be a home thanks to Home Depot.
Jeff Ray is the environmental/science reporter at CBS 11 News. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org