Volunteers building new home for veteranOctober 27, 2020
By The Associated Press
MUNCIE — A Vietnam veteran who lived in his central Indiana home without power and water for more than a year is getting a brand-new residence thanks to volunteers who are rebuilding it from the ground up.
The Delaware County Veterans Affairs Office worked with volunteers to demolish the Muncie home of John Holaday, 77, in early October and begin rebuilding it in the city about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.
Volunteers, including students from the Muncie Area Career Center who are helping with framing and drywall installation, hope to wrap the project by December, said Nate Jones, the Delaware County Veterans Service officer.
Holaday had saved up for repairs to his home, but he was scammed by the contractor he hired, the Star Press reported. With his home in severe disrepair, health officials would have soon issued a condemnation order, making Holaday homeless.
Holaday, who served in combat in Vietnam, turned to the the Delaware County Veterans Affairs Office for help after living in the home for more than a year without power, water or sewer services.
“I never thought I’d see a miracle, but it’s a miracle in my lifetime. Thank you all very much and I appreciate everything you all do," he told volunteers last Thursday as they worked on the rebuild.
Local businesses chipped in for the project and donations to GoFundMe helped finance the work. Within the first week, the Veterans Affairs office office had raised $37,000, along with more than $10,000 worth of donated materials from an anonymous nonprofit.
Jones said that when the ambitious rebuild began, some people told him the effort was too extreme for his office, which typically helps veterans fill out paperwork, get wheelchairs or build ramps.
“I tell them, ‘You know what, it was awfully extreme for him to go overseas and be willing to give his life for this country too,’” Jones said. “I know what that’s like as a combat vet. I’m going to repay the favor to him and make sure he gets what he needs.”
More on DuboisCountyHerald.com
The Indiana State Department of Health has reported 83 new COVID-19 cases in Dubois County since...
The crisp air and colorful leaves of fall bring our favorite traditions of the season.
The Indiana State Department of Health reported Friday 38 new COVID-19 cases in Dubois County.
Those who celebrate Christmas have debated for decades over the ideal time to decorate. Some say...
Steve Schwinghamer will be Huntingburg’s new leader. He was elected mayor by a caucus of...
State Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, has been named 2020 Legislator of the Year by The Arc of...
The Indiana State Department of Health reported Thursday another COVID-19 death in Dubois...
Former Herald reporter Allen Laman reflects on his time in Dubois County.