U.S. Navy veteran Louis Foraker was overjoyed on Tuesday morning, as workers showed up to replace the roof of his home.
“Fantastic, isn’t it?” veteran and former roofer Foraker chuckled under a sunny blue sky, watching volunteers restore his home. Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Abernathy Roofing & Construction, have donated time and money to providing local servicemen with safety and shelter.
Since 2016, the project has provided new roofs for over 200 veterans nationwide — and the numbers continue to grow. Scott Clayton, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity’s executive director, was encouraged to see Foraker’s reaction. “I was listening to (Foraker’s) interview, and he used the word ‘fantastic’ about three times,” Clayton said, “So I know that he’s thrilled by what’s happened here today.”
“It means he has one less thing in his life to worry about,” he continued, saying volunteers showed up “to come out here and help out a veteran in need. That’s what all of these people wanted to do.” Abernathy Roofing & Construction owner Joe Abernathy agreed. “Giving back to the community is what we’re all about,” he said.
And while Foraker may be unable to do the work himself, he knows just how much work it takes. “My uncle and I used to work on roofs after I got out of the Navy,” he said. “But we didn’t have all the modern equipment like they have today. We had to carry everything up on our shoulders.”
Foraker and his wife could not be more thankful. “It’s just a blessing,” he said.