HARDIN — Martin Thompson and his wife Carol Maddox described Monday morning as "unreal" as their new roof was being installed free of charge.
“It brings tears to my eyes because I can’t believe this is happening to us,” Maddox said.
A strong storm in the early summer months destroyed their already "ancient" roof and ripped a large hole in their ceiling.
Maddox showed MTN News the damage in the back room of their Hardin home and described what happened during the storm.
“The ceiling just came down, it was pouring and this (the floor) was all soaked. We had to vacuum it all up,” she said.
Thompson and Maddox both feared what the price of fixing the damage to their roof and siding would be, but they still needed it fixed. They started working with Donahue Roofing & Siding to get a bid.
“The entire bid was $42,000 in damage to the house,” Thompson said.
Mitch Donahue, owner of Donahue Roofing, had just recently learned about the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, a nationwide program that donates roofing material to veterans in need. While working with Thompson and Maddox, who were short on money, Donahue remembered the program and asked Thompson an important question.
“I asked him, 'You don’t happen to be a military vet?' And he said, 'Yeah, as a matter of fact, I served in the army,'" Donahue said. “A day later they called me back and said (Thompson) qualified, and they were going to give him a free roof.”
Thompson served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged decades ago.
With the help of the Roof Deployment Project and Purple Heart Homes, Donahue hopes to continue giving a free roof to a veteran every year.
“They’ve served their country and now they just need a little help, and we’re happy to provide that for them,” Donahue said.
Thompson and Maddox were very grateful for everyone involved in getting them this new roof.
“It still seems like a dream,” Thompson said.