Brandon residents Jerry and Tina Wooten received a new roof on their home thanks to a partnership between Owens Corning and Southeastern Roofing and Construction.

The Roof Deployment Program was very successful in 2021. According to Alex Melillo, account executive with Coyne PR, the project has helped more than 300 veterans since its inception.

“In 2021, the program has provided new roofs to over 80 former military members,” said Melillo.

For more information on the project or to find out how you can get involved, visit

Original Story Printed April 2021.

The noisy sounds of hammering and a generator running were music to Joel Wooten’s ears because they signaled the new roof that was being installed on his parents’ Heather Lakes home.

The roof was being installed through building and industrial materials manufacturer Owens Corning’s Roof Deployment Project, an initiative to honor and help veterans by installing new roods. Owens Corning partnered with Tampa-based Southeastern Roofing and Construction, one of its Platinum Preferred Contractors, to do the installation.

“They contacted us about helping this family and we didn’t think twice,” said Southeastern Roofing Owner Ed Kappaz. “Giving back is a part of our company’s culture.”

Air Force Veteran Jerry Wooten and his wife, Tina (both 82-years-old), are definitely deserving of the generosity of Kappaz and so many others. A fire broke out in their neighbor’s shed last year, making its way down their white PVC fence to the side of their modest 984-square-foot home.

“My mother texted me that day and told me she smelled smoke and thought someone was having a cookout at a nearby park,” said Joel.

The couple managed to escape to safety. Jerry was able to save hundreds of Bibles in Spanish he was preparing to send to Honduras, but his modest home and all their belongings were destroyed.

The Wootens, who had paid off their home mortgage, cancelled their homeowners insurance after seeing a large spike in their premium cost.

“My dad is such a benevolent man and has given so much, it’s wonderful to see the community coming together to help him,” Joel said. “I appreciate everyone who has helped.”

In addition to the new roof and trusses, the entire interior was gutted and drywalled and electrical wiring was replaced. When the work is complete, the home will be decorated with new furniture.

“This project has been a labor of love,” said Habitat for Humanity’s Nitza Rivera, who was also involved in the project. “The Wootens’ home needed so much work and it wasn’t one person volunteering, but so many people helping.”

She hopes the home will be completed in the next few months, allowing the Wootens to be able to move back into their home. They are currently living with their daughter.

For more information about Southeastern Roofing and Construction, visit For more information about Owens Corning, visit To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit

Previous articleFormer Chemistry Teacher Shares New Astronomy Hobby
Next articleYear In Review – Updates On The Top Stories From 2021: Scouts Host Annual Food Drive
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.