Giving Back to Those Who Served

Daniel’s Story

Daniel, of Beachwood, is a Vietnam Veteran, a Marine who went over with the first wave of troops in 1965. He was exposed to Agent Orange, saw heavy combat, and was honorably discharged. He returned home to a much different United States than the one he left, and a general population that didn’t appreciate his service or his sacrifices. His service in Vietnam left him totally and permanently disabled, physically and emotionally. Now 72 years old, he’s battling coronary artery disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and peripheral vascular disease. Over time, his inability to keep up with the kind of routine home maintenance tasks that most of us take for granted led to a need for critical repairs. That’s where Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity came in.

Habitat’s Veteran Repair/Aging in Place program was developed specifically to help neighbors like Daniel. In a span of two days, the Northern Ocean Habitat construction crew – along with 12 Air Force volunteers from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst – gathered at Daniel’s house to make those critical repairs. They fixed and repainted a wheelchair ramp; removed the gutters, rebuilt and wrapped the fascia, then installed new downspouts and new gutters with leaf guards.

Our crew and volunteers also provided ADA-compliant updates to the bath which were made possible through a partnership with Ferguson Enterprises. In the Fall of 2018, Ferguson began supplying plumbing products free of charge to Northern Ocean Habitat as an in-kind donation for use in home repair projects for Veterans, offered through Habitat’s Aging in Place and Critical Home Repair programs. In the Spring of 2019, Ferguson expanded the program to make in-kind donations of its plumbing products available to others served through Northern Ocean Habitat’s Aging in Place and Critical Home Repair programs.

“Together, Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity and Ferguson are responding to the call to serve our community and provide housing repairs and modifications to those in critical need. I am extremely grateful to the Ferguson team,” said Suzan Fichtner, Northern Ocean Habitat’s Executive Director.