Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 11, 2012

Community works to rebuild local vet’s roof

Donors gave more than enough for Operation Covered by Blessings

Just a few short weeks ago, Jason and Kristina Vazquez anguished over the state of their roof.

Winter was fast approaching, and the family didn’t know how long the leaky roof would hold up.

Jason, a Marine veteran, returned home from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq several years ago. He and his wife, Kristina, bought a fixer-upper home in the hopes that Jason’s extensive training as a combat medic would quickly land him a job. But Indiana didn’t recognize any of his certifications, and he had to return to school and work as a pharmacy technician at CVS.

School, work and daily life were even more difficult with the discovery of Jason’s traumatic brain injury, which leaves him with serious memory problems, and severe post-traumatic stress disorder, which makes even mundane tasks like sitting in class near impossible.

With savings dwindling and the damage from the leaks mounting, the couple and their young daughter were surprised to hear that someone was stepping in to help. Chris Ellis, pastor at Windfall United Methodist Church, organized his congregation and members of the community to donate labor and funds to complete the roof. He called the effort “Operation Covered by Blessings.”  

When Jason heard about the effort, he said he thought it was too much to ask. A friend assured him that the community was already committed to his cause.

“I’m like, ‘Listen, I know you guys are trying to get us a roof. I appreciate it, but sometimes you want to help but it’s just not there,” he said. “My buddy said, ‘You have no idea, the community wants to help. ... We’ve got the labor, all we have to do is get the supplies at cost. All we’ve got to do is raise $4,000 and you’ve got your roof.’ When he told me that I was like, ‘you’re kidding me.’ And he said, ‘No, we really want to help.’”

Mike Ward at All American Roofing & Siding oversaw the three-day process of rebuilding the roof beginning Oct. 27. James Miles of Affordable Quality Construction volunteered labor, and Brian Carroll of Integrity Roofing joined in the effort. The Touby Pike Recycling Center provided a dumpster at a discounted price.

“I was overwhelmed,” Ellis said. “I was really blown away. Things just really started to come in.”

Checks and phone calls flooded in from members of the community. A big surprise, Ellis said, was a $1,000 cash donation from a total stranger. In all, $4,200 was raised for the roof. The funds above the cost of the roof will be used to repair some of the damage caused by the leak.

It was apparent, Ellis said, that the Kokomo community wanted to take care of a struggling hero.

“The day after they finished, we were having those effects from Sandy,” Jason said. “We were just standing out there staring at it the house, knowing it was dry. We were so happy. We [had been] really worried about it.”

Jason said his family is so grateful to live in a community that takes care of veterans.

“I know our community is for our vets, but I was really surprised about how quick they jumped on this,” he said. “It really made me feel good about the community and how much they love our vets.”

Megan Graham is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. She can be reached by phone at 765-454-8570 or by email at megan.graham@kokomotribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Coroner searching for relatives of deceased man The Howard County Coroner’s office is trying to find a relative of Kenneth S. Crockett, who passed away Monday at his residence. Crockett , 74, died of natural causes at his residence in the 100 block of West Markland Avenue, Howard County Coroner Ja

    August 1, 2014

  • Bus crash 1 8-1-14 UPDATE: Maconaquah bus crashes on first day of school w/VIDEO

    A Maconaquah school bus transporting elementary students collided with a Jeep Liberty at the intersection of 800 South and U.S. 31 Friday morning on the corporation's first day of fall classes for the 2014-15 academic calendar.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami County struggles through computer shutdown PERU (AP) — A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt. Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Miami County governme

    August 1, 2014

  • Waterford Place looks to 11 senior living duplexes to campus More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo.Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat com

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects – including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics – were set to sta

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS - Summer Fest 02 Russiaville Summer Fest starts Friday RUSSIAVILLE — You think you can knock a baseball out of the park? There's a contest for that. If you love to sing, there's an activity for that. If you're afraid to sing but know the words to your favorite song, there's an activity for that, too. The

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • July 2014 has been the coldest on record Veteran Indiana residents are familiar with the old adage as it pertains to weather: "Hang out, it's sure to change." And, change it has. Just 24 months removed from the hottest July on record in 2012, the National Weather Service announced late Thur

    July 31, 2014

  • One injured in motorcycle crash A 50-year-old man suffered chest injuries when he crashed his motorcycle at Washington and Lafountain streets Wednesday afternoon. A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Tommie Barger of Kokomo was driving a 1983 Honda 1100 south on Lafoun

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries