Oklahoma City veteran gets help with home repairs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City veteran who was scammed by a handyman can finally enjoy a finished addition to his home, thanks in part to The Home Depot and its volunteers.

“We have never had to ask for help. We have always been able to do it ourselves, but there comes a time in life that you have to ask for a little bit of help,” Edward Hodges said.

Hodges, 72, and his wife, Thelma, 62, are retired and on a fixed income, and they were unable to fix the home they have lived in for more than 30 years.

They have health conditions and were unable to finish an addition that cost them $40,000. That is when Edward Hodges began looking for help.

“They went through some struggles recently, so to see people come out and volunteer their time to do something nice for him, he was very appreciative for it,” said Manny Rodriguez, freight team supervisor at The Home Depot on Shields Boulevard.

“I appreciate it. I really do. My wife and I are both financially and physically unable to do it. They have really been good. I cannot complain a bit.”

The project, valued at $8,500, was a part of the Celebration of Service, sponsored by The Home Depot to help veterans across the nation.

“It is wonderful that we work for a company that is able to do that,” said Mitch Rusk, store manager.

Painting, nailing up new siding and installing two decks were on the list for the 45 associate-volunteers, but they also cleaned up the backyard, filling a trash bin.

“The impact that it makes on their life is very rewarding for us,” Rusk said. “It was pretty emotional for him.”

The volunteers, who do the projects on their days off, came from stores in Oklahoma and Texas for the one-day event.

“If it were not for Rebuilding Together and Home Depot, then I do not know what we would do; they would have probably condemned this house,” Edward Hodges said.

“A lot of these veterans you see on TV where they are homeless. People do not want to help them, but you know when you get help be thankful to God that there is somebody out there willing to help,” Edward Hodges said.

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