Coast Guard crewmembers help A New Life – includes video

HOUSTON – Coast Guard crewmembers from Air Station Houston have been working to help repair the second story of a transitional home for veterans since late December.

One of the bedrooms in the home caught on fire three years ago due to old and faulty electrical wiring. The fire completely burned out the bedroom it started in, as well as damaging the only upstairs bathroom and the dining room area.

The owners of the building run a completely non-profit organization, so there was no money to repair the second floor of the home, forcing them down to only one room to provide for Veterans in need. It wasn’t until one of the owners visited Air Station Houston to ask for help through a Combined Federal Campaign charity donation that the Coast Guard members were even aware of the trouble they were in.

Lt. John Moran, a pilot at the air station, went to view the house and see the damage personally. When he returned to the air station he started getting other crewmembers together and they started to fix the house.

“I am thankful for the help I have gotten from my fellow ‘Coasties’,” said Moran. “Given the chance, we all do what we can to help; the challenge was to make the opporunity real, viable, and attainable.”

The hardest part, said Moran, was finding the supplies. He personally went out to find someone willing and able to donate supplies for the reconstruction, and was finally able to get help from Habitat for Humanity.

“I’m extremely thankful for everything Habitat for Humanity has done for us,” said Moran. “They have given us a lot of supplies that really helped out. We’ve been able to get a lot done thanks to them.”

A crew of Coast Guard members has visited the house every weekend since Dec. 21, 2007, to work on the house, with some members coming up on their off time during the week as well. Every person working on the house comes during their own time, often right from work. Becuase of their efforts they have accomplished much.

Most of the old burned wood has been removed, and new, more energy efficient, windows have been framed and prepared. The debris has been removed, and a new floor plan prepared, to optimize the space and set three bedrooms and a communal bathroomon the second floor.

But new walls have not been put in place yet. The walls in place have been prepared, but there is no dry-wall available to put up. The roof is considered too dangerous for the untrained Coast Guard members to work on, and the plumbing still needs to be fixed.

But the Coast Guard members still return whenever possible to fix whatever little things they can.

“I’m happy to help the homeless veterans of Houston get back on their feet,” said Moran. “It’s a shame that we, as a whole, don’t take better care of our veterans.”

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