CONTINENTAL — Vietnam-era U.S. Army veteran and Continental resident Larry Elkins has a lot to be thankful for this month, as his roof was replaced by Habitat for Humanity of Putnam County volunteers.
There were 15 volunteers who worked to take the old shingles off the roof and replace them Nov. 16.
Matt Rau, Habitat executive director, said Elkins received the repairs through the organization’s critical home repair program. Elkins applied for the program, completed an application process and home inspection.
A portion of the funding for the repairs is paid for by a USDA grant as well as Putnam Habitat funds. Elkins’ portion of the payback will be approximately $1,600.
National roofing company Owens Corning provided the shingles, and other materials were locally purchased by Ottoville Lumber Yard. Habitat has completed six previous roof projects.
“Veterans, whether they served 50 years ago or 50 minutes ago, what they have done for our country is invaluable,” Rau said.
Elkins, 77, has lived for 50 years with his wife, Miriam, at 17724 State Road 15 in Continental. He said his 16-year-old roof was leaking.
“I’m proud of the volunteers and thank them for their work,” Elkins said with tears in his eyes.
His brother-in-law Tom Wehri, brother Darrell Elkins and son-in-law Gary Louiselle worked with other volunteers on the roof repairs.
Kerri Louiselle, Elkins’ oldest daughter, said it is amazing that her father was helped.
“He fought for this country, and it’s great he is being recognized for that,” Kerri Louiselle said. She said he provided for the family and is a great father.
Noah Helms, project contractor, provided tools for the project and said his grandfather served in the Air Force.
“With Veterans Day being recently this is nice to come and help the couple,” Helms said. He said he hopes the roof will provide a nice and dry home where Elkins can have the family over for the holidays.
Charles Schmunk, Continental Christ United Methodist Church pastor, worked with other volunteers on the project.
“This is my first time for helping with the critical roof repair. I’m on the Habitat board and have helped build Habitat homes,” Schmunk said.
Elkins’ wife, Miriam, attends the church and is on the healing path from cancer.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.