Doing Right by Our Local Veterans

By May 30, 2024News

DOING RIGHT BY OUR LOCAL VETERANS Builders and its project partners on-site and ready to make a difference.

In recent years Builders has been intentional about serving and giving back to the local community in ways that benefit a variety of people—including former military service members. We appreciate the role of our nation’s cherished veterans—many of whom remain unsung national treasures living among us as we go about life.

And though they’re a tough and dauntless breed, servicemen and servicewomen can end up living with ongoing disabilities, either acquired from their years spent protecting our country or simply from the passage of time. Physical challenges often result in living spaces that do not adequately suit their unique needs.

Though our nation’s finest are a resilient bunch and not apt to complain, the need is real, and Builders believes we can do better.

And so we did.

 

From Belief to Action

The ramp frame

In early May, a group of workers representing our Builders Gives Back committee joined skilled veterans and community stakeholders for an all-day session to build a wheelchair ramp for Russell Caudle, a United States Air Force veteran who completed multiple assignments (including Vietnam) during his 22 years of service. Russell is 100% disabled, confined to a wheelchair, and has been unable to leave his Acworth home due to an unsafe makeshift ramp and unsteady terrain surrounding his home.

Builders Gives Back partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to build a safe and sturdy wheelchair ramp across the Caudle’s front yard and to their front door with the goal of completing as much of the ramp as possible by the end of the day.

The work—digging holes, setting posts, building frames, and making sure the structure was level and up to building code—was hard but satisfying. The team brought hot dogs, beverages, and plates, breaking at lunchtime for a cookout. And by the end of the day, the primary “bones” of the structure were complete, leaving the lighter work for the next crew. Eventually, the ramp was entirely finished.

A veteran hard at work

Though this small project began to set things right for one local veteran, the need remains great for both adequate housing and accommodations for veterans with physical challenges. We’ve done this work before, and we will certainly do it again.

“Mrs. Caudler explained the challenges her husband has had going in and out of their home and how lifechanging it will be for them to have a ramp,” shares Marlo Poper, leader of the Builders Gives Back committee. “Mr. and Mrs. Caudler watched us build the ramp throughout the day, and they were so appreciative.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $500M in veteran causes and improved more than 60,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest $750M in veteran causes by 2030 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program.

 

Builders Gives Back