Improving a Veterans Quality of Life

Ken Hinton

See how volunteers stepped up to help a veteran recover from Hurricane Florence.

Surrounded by million dollar homes with yachts, Team Rubicon volunteers met with a 72-year-old veteran battling cancer named Raymond Cooper who needed help with his home. Volunteers received a call from the State Governor’s office asking if Team Rubicon could help. His home was not one of the million dollar homes. This veteran lived in a small, maybe 40 or 50-year-old, blue and white trailer, one of a handful on Yacht Road surrounded by million dollar homes.  It had a leaking roof due to Hurricane Florence.

A tarp couldn’t be put on the home so a sealant had to be purchased and applied, but he didn’t have the necessary funds. It was also leaking inside his home and onto his couch. When we arrived our team leader met with him first, soon our incident commander was on the scene. An inspection was done inside the home and on the roof. Soon after our team leader made calls to others and a roof sealant and drip edge supplies were then purchased from the local Home Depot.



Ray was happy someone cared enough to show up to his home, learn of the problems he was facing, and arrange for them to get resolved. He smiled throughout our time with him that morning and shook our hands. He shared some of his background with the team. Even though he lived near the Atlantic Ocean, he told one of our team members who was from California he wanted to go surf in the Pacific and that most of his clothes were board shorts. He served our country, and everyone from time to time deserves a little help from some good hearted people willing to help when called upon.

He had the drip edge in one roof of the mobile home and the roof sealant right next to his couch. If you looked up, you could see the ceiling was looking rough from the inside. He stated 75% of the leaks could be fixed if the drip edge was put on with just a screw gun and he could put the sealant on with a friend since he used to be a roofer. Keep in mind that Ray walked with a cane and dealt with hip problems. He was grateful we stopped by to check in.

That following Friday, A-Team style, we all rolled up on Raymond Cooper’s home. A refrigerator was procured because the old one was moldy and a new couch because the one inside his home was all wet. One of our TR members who serves as a firefighter in Utah applied the roof sealant with a broom for close to 2 hours with a smile on her face. This was her first operation with TR. Other volunteers helped to remove the old couch and fridge and placed in the new ones. TR volunteers who were veterans also made phone calls to connect Ray to the VA and other local veteran service organizations. Everyone teamed up to help improve Ray’s quality of life. It was a great day.

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