Middlefield Army vet receives new roof

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MIDDLEFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — A national program designed to give back to veterans provided Roberto Gonzalez and his family with a new roof Wednesday.

Everyone needs a roof over their head, and now the Gonzalez family is getting one. They moved back to Connecticut this year when he got out of the service.

“I did four years active army in Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” Gonzalez said.

Then he found out the cost of housing in Connecticut went up a lot in those four years. Right now, they are living with his wife’s parents.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Gonzalez’s wife, Julia said. “We have a big dog, a son, a baby on the way, so it’s definitely a challenge.”

Fixing up their future house is also a challenge.

“The house has been set vacant for over a decade, so the town came in here to take over because there have been no taxes paid for 10 years,” Curtis Weybright, general construction manager for Habitat for Humanity said.

Habitat for Humanity paid the back taxes, took over the house, and started work, wrapping it with insulation, new siding, and new windows.

The organization had already put a lot of work into this house, but one thing kept happening. When it would rain outside, it would also rain inside the house, so obviously, it needed a new roof.

That’s where the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project came in. Owens Corning donates the material. The local contractor, in this case, Armor Shield, donated the labor.

“We’re going to check all the plywood, make sure everything is good there,” Scott Tearman, the owner of Armor Shield Companies said. “If there’s any bad plywood, we’ll replace that. We’re putting a whole brand-new roof system on for them.”

It’s an effort to give back and protect veterans after they protected all of us while they served.

“It hits me in the heart to know that I’m able to and just as a way of saying thank you,” Tearman said.

“It’s very heartwarming and very touching,” Julia said. “I couldn’t thank anybody enough. It’s really rewarding.”

The Gonzalezes had to put plenty of their own labor into the house. That’s how it works with Habitat for Humanity.

“I worked hard and it’s paying off,” Gonzalez said. “Everything is paying off. Even the times that seemed like they were not so fun and so good, now I just look at the good times because it feels great.”

It’s always great to get a little help, especially when it comes from up above.

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