AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A roofing and siding company in Austintown heard about a Valley veteran who was struggling to maintain his home and decided to help out.
Now, that decision has led the company to start a new program to help more veterans with their homes.
Boak & Sons heard about Veteran Johnny Rivers, Sr., who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and his struggles to keep his home in good condition.
Active members with the Ohio National Guard, who work at Boak & Sons, encouraged the company to step up and help.
“We try to put them into use for somebody who’s in need and who can’t afford to pay for it themselves. We reached out to Susan at the Mahoning Valley Veterans Services organization and she helped to connect us with Johnny Rivers,” said Chris White, vice president of Boak & Sons.
Boak & Sons created their “Got You Covered” program to help Rivers out with his home. It was a gesture that couldn’t come at a better time.
“My walls were caved, my ceiling was caved-in because I was in desperate need of a roof and I had to recondition the whole house. I had to put a bucket here and a bucket there to catch the water,” Rivers said.
Rivers was grateful after hearing that Boak & Sons would replace his roof for free.
“I had to pinch myself because I thought I was dead and went to heaven because I didn’t think things like that happened here on earth. I never had anybody do anything for me. Everything looked like it was going in the other direction. I’ve been in the habit of helping people all of my life, I was raised that way,” Rivers said.
White said the impact that his program had on Rivers’ life is an inspiration to push forward and help more veterans.
“Johnny touched all of our hearts. It was our honor and our pleasure to be a part of something like that, and I think that we were rewarded way more than he could be rewarded by us,” White said.