Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 10, 2012

Veteran helping a fellow vet remodel at no charge

Balser remodels home for free.

For those serving or having served in the U.S. military, the phrase “I’ve got your 6” means there is someone watching your back. In Kokomo, Richard Balser is making that phrase a reality for a fellow Vietnam veteran.

The 62-year-old Marine Vietnam veteran is remodeling the Judson Road home of Army veteran Ken Magnett. And he’s not charging him a dime.

They didn’t serve together in Vietnam: Balser was there in 1969 and Magnett didn’t come until 1970 and 1971.

They got to know each other through their work with the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization for more than a decade.

Magnett has owned the house on Judson Road since 1975 and decided to move back there from a house he owns in Indian Heights.

“I talked to him about what I wanted to do,” said Magnett, who is disabled. “He offered to come over and look at it.”

Since there was no deadline to finish the remodeling, Balser said he would do the work for Magnett.

“He won’t accept any money,” Magnett said. “I have given him some money for gas and food.”

The cost estimate of the remodeling was between $8,000 and $12,000, with Magnett purchasing all of the materials. Balser is replacing all of the plumbing, placing sheet-rock on the walls and ceilings, installing new flooring and applying a fresh coat of paint.

“It will be like a new home inside,” he said.

Balser said he is returning the favors Magnett has done for others.

“This is my way of paying Kenny back,” he said of the work. “I’ve been in the building trades all my life. I’m doing it to help another veteran.”

He’s been on the job for two months.

“Ken has done a lot for wounded veterans,” Balser said. “He has done a lot for the organization over the years.”

Magnett is one of the founding members of the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization and is also active with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Balser said Magnett allowed him to design the interior and some approved changes like expanding closets and replacing the doors and windows.

A retired carpenter, Balser underwent heart bypass surgery earlier this year.

“I like to stay busy,” he said. “I maintain the house of a Tipton school teacher and do work for other veterans.”

Magnett said he hopes to be living in the Judson Road home sometime this summer and is looking forward to returning to the house he shared with his wife before she died.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Art FOr the Sky Wallace School hosts Indiana’s first Art for the Sky project From the ground, the crowd gathered at Wallace School of Integrated Arts on Wednesday seemed like nothing more than people in colorful T-shirts standing in odd groups. But with "sky sight," the formation took on the large-scale image of a paint palet

    April 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • City acquires more right of way for Nickel Plate Trail extension The city of Kokomo acquired another piece of land for the construction of the Nickel Plate Trail in its quest to extend the trail from county line to county line. The city's Board of Public Works and Safety approved a recreational trail easement that

    April 24, 2014

  • County residents speak out against wind energy As debate continues over the construction of wind turbines in Howard County and its neighbors, residents are turning up the heat on officials in an effort to stop development in the southeast corner of the county. Concerned citizens spoke out during

    April 24, 2014

  • Driver in fatal hit and run on Center Road pleads guilty The driver of a truck involved in an August hit-and-run crash that killed a 13-year-old boy could get as much as seven years behind bars if a judge accepts his plea. Randall K. Rector, 58, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crash resulting in d

    April 24, 2014

  • TUFF CURBS Locals upset over Markland curb plans Plans to eliminate left-hand turns along the city's busiest business corridor caused a major uproar Tuesday. Business owners, city officials and state legislators spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday on the phone protesting to Indiana Department of Tr

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police reports Howard County Arrests Tuesday, 4:34 p.m., police arrested Alisha Whitt, 27, 500 block of South Washington Street, at that residence, on a parole violation. Tuesday, 6:21 p.m., police arrested a 15-year-old male in the 400 block of West Sycamore Stree

    April 24, 2014

  • Eastern to move forward with $2M renovation to jr./sr. high school GREENTOWN -- Renovations at Eastern Sr./Jr. High will continue this summer after the board of education on Tuesday approved spending another $2 million on the final stage of upgrades. There will be no net impact on taxes, which has been a priority fo

    April 24, 2014

  • Volunteers still helping tornado victims Back in March, volunteers set out to inform tornado-ravaged neighborhoods there is still help out there. The small group of volunteers, part of the Long Term Recovery Team, took to the streets of the worst areas hit by the Nov. 17 tornadoes, passing

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS - KT042414 - Coats Coats plans to join GOP senators calling for Russian sanctions INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Sen. Dan Coats wants tougher sanctions against Russia for its growing involvement in Ukraine, despite signs of wariness back home. "If there is a bully in the schoolyard, the sooner you realize that and stand up to that bully, th

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gardening-Bee Sanctuaries-3 [Duplicate] Bee sanctuaries Bees are pulling a disappearing act. Honeybees are vanishing from their hives. Bumblebee numbers have crashed so radically that some species are believed extinct. Even native solitary bees are in decline. Food supplies dependent upon pollinators are

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
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