Dog on the Move

Venice Air Pressure vet given new roof by Mighty Canine Roofing, Owens Corning


SARASOTA COUNTY – After 20 years away — serving within the Gulf Struggle and dealing as a coach for a nationwide truck driving college — Richard Eaton needed to return house to South Venice and repair up the household house.

This week Eaton, who served within the Air Pressure for Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Defend, acquired a brand new roof by Purple Coronary heart Properties and the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Mission. 

Purple Coronary heart Properties, a 13-year-old, Statesville, North Carolina-based nonprofit that gives housing options for disabled veterans, recommends eligible veterans for Owens Corning’s nationwide roof restore program.

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Eaton, a disabled Air Pressure Veteran, was identified with post-traumatic stress dysfunction two years in the past. He served within the Center East in 1990-91 and praised the nonprofit for a easy utility course of.

“They’re such a godsend to folks, I can’t start to let you know,” Eaton mentioned. “They’re so skilled, they’re so well mannered.”

A way of historical past

After leaving the service, Eaton labored in Indiana as a coach for the Truck Driver Institute.

He returned to the Venice space in 2008, to assist take care of his mom Marie and stepfather James Brill.

He purchased the house on Roslyn Highway from his mom in 2017, after she needed to maneuver north to Goshen, Indiana, to be nearer to her grandchildren.

Mighty Dog Roofing co-owner and president, Philip Crutchfield, left, and Owens Corning representative Curtis Hagens, right were on hand as roofers remove old shingles and tar paper from a home in South Venice on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Air Force veteran Richard Eaton is receiving a new roof as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Mighty Dog Roofing Southwest Florida, an Owens Corning platinum roofing contractor, is working on the project. Eaton was selected through partnership with Purple Heart Homes.

Eaton labored in actual property and functioned as finest he might, regardless of the PTSD.

He was additionally closely concerned within the volunteer South Florida Clear Water Motion and a citizen effort to avoid wasting the North Jetty Fish Camp, which was inbuilt 1946 from an outdated Ybor Metropolis trolley automotive.

“I’m one of many few individuals who actually believes in roots,” Eaton mentioned. “You may’t exchange outdated Florida, you possibly can’t exchange historical past … it’s that kind of factor.”

Eaton was 5 when the airplane his father was flying again from Indiana crashed throughout a thunderstorm close to Ocala.

The youngest of 5 brothers, Eaton has faint recollections of his father – principally driving within the airplane – and a profound attachment to his house, which shares a nook lot with a banyan tree and two stay oaks.

He shares the house along with his fiancee, Robin Oneill and three small canine – Molly, a chihuahua combine; Lulu, a Pomeranian; and Roxy, a beagle combine.

Eaton and Oneill grew up in the identical neighborhood, graduated from Venice Excessive College collectively and even labored on the similar Winn-Dixie collectively.

They reconnected about three years in the past and Oneill – herself a disabled veteran – helped him navigate the paperwork to qualify for incapacity.

Eaton has tried therapies for his PTSD however little has helped.

“I’ve extreme nightmares each night time after which I find yourself waking up each morning deathly ailing,” he mentioned. “On a scale of 1 to 10 ache, I’ve 10 – I’ve what they name full-body migraines.”

He’s additionally gentle delicate.

“First gentle, very first thing within the morning causes extreme ache,” he added. “I get up within the fetal place on daily basis now. 

“The one factor they instructed me about it was, don’t count on it to enhance.”

Air Force veteran Richard Eaton, and his finace, Robin Oneill, watch as roofers from Mighty Dog Roofing remove old shingles and tar paper from their home in South Venice on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.  Eaton is receiving a new roof as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Mighty Dog Roofing Southwest Florida, an Owens Corning platinum roofing contractor, is working on the project. Eaton was selected through partnership with Purple Heart Homes.

Whereas submitting for incapacity, Eaton discovered that one-third of the 450,000 troops deployed in the course of the first Persian Gulf Struggle are thought of totally disabled.

“Each night time, my mind thinks it’s been within the Gulf Struggle, and I can get up as mentally centered as potential however each chemical – as if I simply ran by a minefield – is within the physique and that’s what really occurred and so they don’t have any option to cease it, as soon as it’s triggered.”

Avenues of assist

Eaton mentioned he didn’t understand he was eligible for assist till Oneill instructed him.

These he labored with on the VA mentioned many Gulf Struggle veterans are like him.

Purple Coronary heart Properties is one among a number of nonprofits which have stepped in to assist veterans in instances of hardship.

Domestically, the Denis V. Cooper Basis teamed up with Kingdom Roofing to place a brand new roof on the house of Vietnam veteran Horras Sheffield, and Goodwill Manasota has been particularly lively in veteran outreach.

Candice Jo, “CJ” Bannister, an eight-year Air Pressure veteran acquainted by work with a number of vocal veteran outreach organizations, and at the moment a philanthropic advisor with the Gulf Coast Neighborhood Basis, is also a member of the board of administrators for Purple Coronary heart Properties. 

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As soon as Purple Coronary heart Properties determines a necessity, they contact companions to assist clear up the difficulty – on this case, Owens Corning, which depends on its platinum roof contractors to do the work.

Mighty Canine Roofing Southwest Florida had 9 employees – roughly two crews – eradicating outdated shingles and the double felt beneath, leaving the bottom plywood.

Leaky plywood boards are changed – sometimes the crews carry three sheets of plywood however they shortly realized that extra could be wanted in a noon provide run.

Mighty Canine co-owner and president Philip Crutchfield had labored in software program previous to establishing the Lakewood Ranch-based franchise in February 2021.

Crutchfield mentioned that in Sarasota County, a crew can begin the method by eradicating shingles on someday, then after permitting a day for inspection, can end the job on the third day.

On that in-between day, crews are beginning work on one other house.

“It’s a shifting musical chair, we’re at all times shifting folks round,” Crutchfield mentioned, noting that half of the crew at Eaton’s house would transfer to a unique website Tuesday afternoon, to complete that job.

He and a silent associate determined to enter roofing as a result of it was a chance to do some good, “and do issues the best means.”

Since 2016, Owens Corning has helped greater than 350 veterans nationwide get a brand new roof.

As soon as Eaton’s roof is changed – which may very well be completed as quickly as Friday – will probably be the sixth one accomplished in Florida this 12 months, mentioned Curtis Hagens, the Southwest Florida Area space gross sales supervisor for North American Constructing Supplies Gross sales, a distributor of Owens Corning merchandise.

“We attempt to give again each time we get an opportunity to honor any individual that’s served,” Hagens mentioned.

Earle Kimel primarily covers south Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and will be reached at earle.kimel@heraldtribune.com. Assist native journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.



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