LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - A Myrtle Beach roofing company is donating free roof services to a Vietnam veteran as part of their program Roofs for Troops.
For the past three years, Monarch Roofing has donated its services to help deserving veterans, service members and first responders in need. The 2016 Roofs for Troops recipient was Tom Duncan of Little River.
Duncan was nominated to receive the free roof services by the Veterans Housing Development. Another local veteran, Chris Tourtellete, heard about Duncan's need and jumped into action to help.
"He said, 'Hey, I've got a veteran. He needs a roof. It's causing damage to his house.' From there it's turned into Monarch Roofing donating an entire roof. The Veterans Housing Development and Home Depot are coming to repair the damage inside the house (and) we're doing landscaping on the outside of the house," said Jewel Strickland, another local army veteran, who volunteers with the Veterans Housing Development.
Friday morning, the owner of the Monarch Roofing, company employees, volunteers and members of the Veterans Housing Development showed up at Duncan's home to surprise him with the news.
The company met with him a few days prior to the announcement and Duncan thought initially they were going to simply help him with the costs.
Then, when he found out it was going to be for free, Duncan was overwhelmed.
"For Monarch Roofing to come in and do this, it is fantastic. It really is," he said.
Ryan Condron, project manager for Monarch Roofing, said Duncan was well deserving.
"When we got out here and met with him, we talked to him, we saw how he interacts with his wife and the love he has for her. She's not doing so great, she is very sick and she's on hospice care," Condron said. "We thought, 'What a great opportunity to pick him for our Roofs for Troops this year.'"
Duncan is retired from the Marines Corps following his service from 1962 to 1967, which included time in Vietnam.
He and his wife live in a small home in the Little River area. Duncan has done their best to repair and up keep their home. However; the roof is increasingly becoming a problem.
Additionally, Duncan's wife has advancing Alzheimer's and he is doing his best to take care of her as well.
"It was leaking all through the length of the house and also in the den," Duncan said about the roof. "It's a tremendous burden. I have enough burden right now without the roof leaking, but it is going to be fantastic, it really is. It just kind of pumped my spirit up, it really did."
The Veterans Housing Development's (VHD) mission is to provide housing to homeless veterans through partnerships and involvement with members of the local community, the Veterans Administration and philanthropic donors.
Their approach is to address the problem of homeless veterans that then can be duplicated in every city throughout the United State. Their vision is to provide a sense of home and community for all our veterans.
"We are literally taking a veteran who was in a bad spot and was looking for a little hand up, and we're setting him up for success in the years of his life that should be the golden years for people, and we're going to be able to give that to him," said Strickland.
Other organizations stepped up to help the couple, according to Strickland. Embrace Hospice is assisting Duncan with getting his wife, Marilyn, the 24-hour care she needs, as well as provide him with counseling services.
Home Depot donated $8,000 for supplies to help VHD make other necessary repairs to the couple's home of 20 years.
"Home Depot is going to stop by in October. They are going to replace the fencing, they are going to put some flowers bushes and they are going to power wash the deck and treat the deck, and inside they are going to fix the ceilings that have leaked," Duncan said.
He went on to express his gratitude and appreciation for the help.
"Everyone that's been involved is really special to me," Duncan said.