Organization transforms local veteran's home

Veteran Jim Miller
Veteran Jim Miller
Canine Angels representative Richard Kaplan.
Canine Angels representative Richard Kaplan.

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -  Veterans are twice more likely to be homeless than those who haven't served. Nobody should be without a home, especially those who have done so much for us.

Our veterans risk it all for our country and build a foundation for us to feel secure. In return, volunteers are building homes to give our heroes their own safe haven.

Time, tools and teamwork, that's what the day is about, a celebration of service,  all part of an effort to makeover one local veteran's home.

"I loved being in the Air Force - it was the best time I ever had," said Veteran Jim Miller. "I love this country, I'd do it again any time."

As if he wasn't already a hero, those words say it all, but since words could never thank our veterans enough for what they do for us, The Home Depot Foundation wants to put that gratitude into action.

Volunteers with Home Depot are spending the day, bringing Miller's North Myrtle Beach home back to life. His house needed fixing, but the job was to big to finish himself.

"Not every veteran that has disabilities is going to have a physical disability, it may be something that you don't always see," said Wayne Altman with The Home Depot.

Which is the case with the Jim. His dogs, Toby and Louise, were gifts from the Canine Angels, to help him with anxiety and depression following his service. It's a local charity that rescues dogs and trains them to be a soldier for disabled vets. That's the same organization that brought the Home Depot to help Jim repair his home.

"The question always remains, who rescues who in this situation, we rescue the dogs, but in turn the dogs rescue us," said Richard Kaplan with Canine Angels. "They save them from thoughts of depression, and sometimes suicide, sometimes anger and give them back the freedom in their lives that they deserve to have, because they protected ours."

Since Jim protected ours, his newly repaired home, will now protect him.

By Veterans Day, the end of the Home Depot's Celebration of Service Campaign, volunteers will have transformed more than 1,000 homes, for veterans across the country. The campaign started on September 11. Since the Home Depot Foundation kicked off its campaign in 2011, it's refurbished more than 12,000 homes for veterans, a number they hope will grow with time.

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