Veterans Helping Veterans

by Mar 20, 2023Community, North Brunswick

John E. Jacobs American Legion Post 68, American Legion Post 543, Lowes Home Improvement, Purple Heart Homes and more come together to help a veteran in need.

When veteran Fredrick Smith’s house was damaged during Hurricane Florence in 2018, his Veterans Homeowner’s Insurance failed to cover the majority of the damage incurred. Smith sought assistance from the Veterans Administration but that did not work out. He attempted the repair process on his own, but the job was bigger than he could handle himself. Water inundation had damaged floor joists, flooring and kitchen cabinets and much more.

The John E. Jacobs American Legion Post 68 heard of Smith’s problems and stepped in to help. Service officer Lane Adrian, Post 68 member Kobe Kelley and American Legion Post 543 Service Officer Steve Muir surveyed the damage and prepared a detailed floor diagram listing the total square footage of hardwood flooring required to replace the damage flooring throughout the home.

Color Guard Veterans Leland NC

A meeting was then held with the Lowes Home Improvement in Southport to request their assistance through their Hometown Hero’s program. Southport Lowes stepped up and provided the flooring necessary for the living room, dining room kitchen, and hallway, which covered a good portion of the necessary repairs. The three bedrooms, two baths along with cabinets and counters in the kitchen needed additional funding assistance. Lowes stepped up again by identifying another funding source.

The Lowes Corporate HQ representative contacted Purple Heart Homes (PHH), a national nonprofit organization.

PHH then contacted Smith, and after Smith completed the necessary paperwork, PHH agreed to provide the additional assistance needed to restore the home with new flooring, kitchen cabinets and counters. As a result of this undertaking the costs incurred were covered by Purple Heart Homes (PHH), two American Legion Posts (Leland, Post 68 and St. James, Post 543) along with the SENCLAD Military Offices Association of America (MOAA).

Veterans Helping Veterans

Purple Heart Homes held a Mission Complete Ceremony at Smith’s residence on March 6. American Legion Post 68 Color Guard presented the colors. PHH members and staff along with members of American Legion Posts 68 and 543 and MOAA were present to recognize Smith for his service.

John E. Jacobs American Legion Post 68 Leland Color Guard members Ed Wojton, Jeff Harriman and Jamie Becker raised the American flag to celebrate the completion of repairs to army Smith’s house.