The holidays got a little brighter for U.S. Army veteran Rodney Oneal and his wife, Barbara, when their daughter-in-law, Becky Preston, noticed the couple needed a new roof and decided to take action.
Preston contacted Habitat for Humanity, which participates in the Owens Corning National Roof Deployment Project, in partnership with Owens Corning Roofing and local roofing contractors, to offer free new roofs to military families around the country.
Oneal, who served for 14 months during the Vietnam War, three months of that time as a prisoner of war, was selected to receive a new roof, which was installed by locally owned CB Roofing Construction Inc. in November.
“My daughter-in-law started all this and we wouldn’t have a new roof over our head today without her,” said Oneal.
Their modest 1,000 sq. ft. home is now free of leaks, which had been plaguing the couple every time it rained for more than three years.
Valrico resident and owner of CB Roofing Construction Chad Bowman and his crew arrived at Oneal’s home one November morning at 6:45 a.m. and completed the job by 3 p.m., making quick work of removing the old tin roof and installing new Owens Corning shingles.
“Chad and his team were so thorough and did a great job for us,” said Oneal, who even got to select the shingle color.
Bowman, who has owned his roofing business for more than three decades, considers it an honor to be able to use his skills to give back to a local hero like Oneal.
“We want our veterans to know how much we appreciate their service to our country,” said Bowman.
Bowman’s office staff had another surprise for the Oneals. When they visited the site and noticed his tattered American flag flying in front of his house, they felt that wouldn’t do and purchased a replacement for him.
“They wanted to honor him and our country with a new flag,” said Bowman.
Since the inception of the Owens Corning National Roof Deployment Project in 2016, more than 140 military members have received new roofs.
The Oneals received more than one pleasant surprise this holiday season. They were selected as second place winners in another contest and won two $500 gift cards.
“This was truly a miracle and a blessing,” said Oneal. “God is so good.”