Veteran Gets Surprise Home Repair | NECN


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Veteran Gets Surprise Home Repair

(Published Monday, Aug. 22, 2016)

A Bristol veteran is getting some much needed home repairs after an Connecticut construction company heard of the serviceman's need for help.

Vietnam Army Veteran Robert Gentle said he was surprised to see construction workers arrive at his Cypress Street home.

"I'm not used to it," said Veteran Robert Gentle.

Gentle said he joined the army at 17 years old.

Now at age 63, his health has stopped him from making needed repairs to his two bathrooms.

"I have PTSD and nerve damage," Gentle said.

His wife Doreen said she just happened to mention the need for repairs while at work to a friend. Then nearly two months later, construction workers arrived.

"I guess I just hit the right person at the right time," smiled Doreen Gentle.

The program put on by the Connecticut chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc is called Open Shop Salute.

The organization works with 200 non-union commercial contractors and Connecticut veteran organizations to find vets and military personnel in need of home repairs and other construction needs.

The workers are volunteers, the materials are donated and the work is done free of charge.

"For people who have gone above and beyond to serve our country and who have given so much sacrifice this is really the least we can give back to them," said president of ABC, Inc. Chris Syrek.

Work on Gentle's home should save him $20,000.

"When people do this, more or less changes my perspective on society in general," said Gentle.

Syrek said the program has helped nearly three vets a year for the last 10 years. Gentle's home is the first one being repaired this year.