Roofers come to aid of disabled war veteran

Roofers aid war veteranMore than a dozen members of Roofers Local 49, along with signatory contractors Anderson Roofing, Snyder Roofing, Umpqua Roofing, and Griffith Roofing, donated their skills, equipment, and materials to re-roof the home of a disabled war veteran who lives in Keizer, Oregon. The small army of volunteers was responding to a call for assistance from the non-profit Oregon Military Support Network, which in turn was following up on an appeal by the Wounded Warriors Project to help an injured Army National Guard soldier.

The soldier, who under the program remains anonymous, was serving a third tour of duty in Afghanistan when he injured his lower pelvis jumping from a helicopter that was under mortar attack. The injury required multiple surgeries, leaving him permanently disabled.

It just so happens that Glenn Shuck, a retired executive director of Labor’s Community Service Agency, now volunteers for Oregon Military Support Network. When the call for help came in, Shuck knew just where to go.

“We got a call from Glen last winter explaining the situation,” said Russ Garnett, business manager of Roofers Local 49.

Garnett and Local 49 President Travis Hopkins went to the home to assess the job. They determined that, indeed, a new roof was necessary. The men patched some leaks and then, for the next five months, solicited contractors and suppliers for donations to re-roof the entire home.

On Saturday, June 22, a crew of 15 union roofers did just that. After completely tearing down the old roof, they replaced several sections of plywood sheathing that had sustained water damage before re-shingling the home. A smaller crew returned on Monday, June 24, to wrap up the punch list.

All told, the volunteers put in nearly 200 man-hours, with all of the labor and materials donated. Garnett estimated the value of the work was more than $10,000.

Union members volunteering were Russ Garnett, Travis Hopkins, Darrel Hopkins Sr., Local 49 Recording Secretary Sean Maybee, Frank Rudea Jr., Frankie Rudea, Mike McGlinn, Jon Losli, Dave Hughey, Rick Samson, Jose Ceja, Robert Strother, Boris Mitusiv, Ivan Ribac, and Santos Castro. The signatory roofing contractors, along with Malarkey Roofing Products and Woodfeathers Roofing Materials donated all the material and equipment for the job. Workers at Malarkey are members of Steelworkers Local 1689. “It was an amazing sight to witness. The veteran and his wife and family were so appreciative … overwhelmed, really,” Shuck said.

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