PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – A program called “Giving Back to Those Who Served” is solving a problem that has plagued a local veteran for years. 

Whenever rain is in the forecast, 74-year-old U.S. Army veteran Tony Maness, of Painesville, is filled with a sense of dread.

“I was really worried. Every time it called for rain or whatever, I would get really anxious because of the rain, the leaks I had in my roof,” he said.  

Maness, who served in the Army during the 1960s as a combat engineer in Korea, says he is on a fixed income and a new roof was not in his budget, so he has been fighting a losing battle to stop the leaks in the 30-year-old roof.

“I had them patched but you never know how long they’re going to last,” he said.

When members of the organization Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity learned about Maness’ problem, they jumped at the opportunity to lend a helping hand.

His service to the country was a major factor in the group’s decision to organize an effort to replace his roof “free of charge.” 

“It’s just a thrill to be able to serve families and individuals that have served us through the military. They always hold a special place in our hearts and it’s just a real honor,” said Michael Barb, executive director of Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity.

The shingles and other supplies for the new roof are being supplied by Owens Corning, through the company’s “Roof Deployment Project.”

“Any time we can give back to the veteran communities for what they’ve done for us and for the freedoms we have in this country, I mean, it just warms the heart to be able to do it, and as a veteran myself, it especially hits close to home,” said Owens Corning area sales manager Mike Manges.

The labor for the heartfelt project is being provided by Home Genius Exteriors in Twinsburg.

“I felt that there was something that we could do about it, working for a company that cares, especially about the community and veterans, and being a veteran myself, I thought it would be a good opportunity to help somebody,” said Andrew Holko, production manager at Home Genius Exteriors.

The kindness and generosity of the team of volunteers have given Maness more than just a new roof. They have given him peace of mind. 

“Relief, relief, like a ton of weight was off my shoulders, you know? It’s really something,” he said.

If you know of a veteran facing a similar problem, you are encouraged to contact Habitat for Humanity.