MIDDLEFIELD — A local Army veteran is now the proud owner of a new roof.
Roberto Gonzalez is a 24-year-old veteran who moved back to Connecticut this year after he got out of the service.
“I did four years’ active army in Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez’s house was selected to receive a new roof through the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. The project is an effort to show honor and gratitude to veterans.
Getting a new roof, said Gonzalez, “means everything” for his family.
“It’s great,” said Gonzalez. “The service was one thing and getting things for my service is great but to get house repairs because of what I did, feels even better.”
His wife, Julia, called the initiative a “life-changing experience.”
“It makes me feel really blessed that we have these people in our lives helping us,” she said.
Owens Corning donated the materials. A local contractor, Armor Shield Companies, donated the labor, installing a brand-new roof system.
“I think this is needed for veterans,” said Scott Tearman, owner of Armor Shield. “They put their life on the line to protect and keep us safe in our country. I want to do what I can, as an American, to say ‘Thank you for your service.’ That’s what makes me feel good about it.”
Curtis Weybright, the general construction manager for Habitat for Humanity, said the roof was in a dire condition. Water constantly leaked through, severely damaging the house’s interior.
“When it would rain, half of the water would get off from the edge of the roof, and the other half would go inside the house,” said Weybright. “There was a black mold throughout the whole house.”
Habitat for Humanity paid the family’s back taxes and took over the house repairs, putting in new insulation, new siding, new windows, a new septic system, and a new driveway.
While the roof was completed within the day, Weybright predicted the rest of the repairs would be completed within four to six months.