MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) -- Loretta Grant, of Maple Heights, joined the U.S. Army right out of high school.
She spent three years in the military, serving in combat in Mogadishu, Somalia, and specializing in mortuary affairs.
Tuesday, she stood in her front yard as roofers swarmed the outside of her house, which has a leaking, failing roof which has damaged the inside of her home. The crews raced to finish putting on a new roof by dinnertime; a small way to thank her for keeping her country safe.
"I'm pretty excited," she said. "It's a big weight off my shoulders. "It means a lot that somebody is willing to do that for me."
It was all part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, a nationwide effort to show gratitude and honor the veterans who served our country and the families who support them. More than 170 military members have received new roofs since the inception of the program in 2016.
The Owens Corning Foundation donated roofing materials, and Absolute Roofing and Construction donated the labor. NARI Cares was also involved in the project. Grant was selected and approved as the recipient through a partnership with Purple Heart Homes.
Chris Kamis, president of Absolute Roofing, said crews started construction at about 8:30 a.m. and planned to be completely done by 5 p.m.
"It's a nice, easy project," he said. "We have great weather."
Kamis said it's his second time replacing a roof through the deployment project.
"We've been very successful in the community, and we have to give back to those that need our help," he said. "And it's so great to help out, especially military veterans who give so much for us and our country. I don't believe military veterans get enough."
Dallas Conrad, of Owens Corning, is also a veteran. He said many more roofing projects are planned for this year.
"It's kind of new, but it's starting to grow," he said of the project. "I'm proud to work for a company and have partners like this that help our veterans."
Kamis said the whole experience is very rewarding and heartwarming.
"I end to keep my emotions inside, but really there are times you feel like bursting into tears, because you see what you've done for homeowners, for military veterans and how much they appreciate that," he said. "Because there's no way we can repay what the military has done for us...to keep us safe...you can't put a price on that."