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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – He served our country with honor and now, a local veteran facing a difficult situation at home is getting a helping hand, thanks to a team of charitable Northeast Ohioans.

A crew from Legacy Roofing spent the day removing old shingles from the roof of the North Ridgeville home of 70-year-old Dennis Payne.

The leaky roof has been a source of sleepless nights for the U.S. Navy veteran, who served on board a Navy tanker during the Vietnam War. 

“It was starting to deteriorate real bad and I kept watching it and watching it. Finally, I said ‘I think we going to need a roof,’” said Payne.

But like many veterans on a fixed income, Payne was worried that he could not afford a major project like a new roof. It was becoming a bigger and bigger issue every time it rained.

“I need to get it done, fast, there was no way around it,” he said.

During a visit earlier this year to the VFW post in North Ridgeville, Dennis Payne told a fellow veteran about his leaky roof and it turns out that veteran is the president of the local chapter of Purple Heart Homes.

The mission of the organization is to provide quality of life solutions for veterans, and in the case of Dennis Payne, Purple Heart Homes felt that through his long commitment to his country and his fellow veterans, Dennis had earned a helping hand.

“He’s an honor guard, he goes to cemeteries and does funeral services for veterans. It’s time somebody did something for Dennis and I couldn’t have picked a nicer guy,” said John Keating, the local president of Purple Heart Homes.

After hearing Payne’s story, Owens Corning decided to donate the materials for a new roof through the company’s Roof Deployment Project for worthy veterans.

“Our veterans need to be thanked. We need to be doing more for our veterans out there today and I don’t think we do enough, so every little bit helps,” said Owens Corning Sr. Sales Manager Patrick Main.

The team at Northeast Ohio’s Legacy Roofing volunteered to install the new roof at no cost, giving Payne some well-deserved peace of mind.

“It makes it all worth it. It just melts my heart. It’s just a great thing to be able to give back to a veteran that’s served our country,” said Legacy Roofing Vice President Dave Sipes.

As he watched his new roof being installed, Payne said with a smile, “What a relief off my brain. It’s a big relief.” 

Payne says his story is proof that assistance is available for veterans, and they just need to be willing to ask for the help that they have earned.