Late in August 2014, I received a call from my trim carpenter letting me know he had an old family friend in Mesquite that was in need of our services. He gave me their phone number and I scheduled an appointment to inspect the roof and write an estimate for the repairs.

When I arrived at the house I was impressed at how well the house was maintained. The paint on their 1100 square foot house was fresh, the windows were clean and the trees and landscaping were beautiful. Mickey Suniga greeted me at the door and we visited about or common connections for a few moments. I completed my inspection and wrote the estimate for replacing the 25-year-old roof that was failing miserably. The roof should have been replaced years ago there were numerous holes, patches and damage for storms of years gone by. After returning to the door Mrs Suniga invited me in, and walked me through the house showing me the locations of the numerous leaks, and increasing interior damage as a result of the failing roof. We sat down at the kitchen table and reviewed the photos of the roof and the estimate, I recommended she contact her insurance company and file a claim to have the roof replaced. Mrs. Suniga informed me that her and her husband had lived in the house since it was built in 1962. They purchased the home after Mr. Suniga was discharged for the army after years of honorable services. Because of financial difficulties they experienced in the 80’s they had to cancel their homeowners insurance and had no coverage, and as a result would not be receiving any financial assistance for the cost.  She never complained about the cost nor asked me to discount my price. She knew the work had to be done and felt comfortable with the estimate I provided.

Being a veteran myself I always enjoy meeting and working with veterans. I asked if I could meet her husband who was in a bed in the back bed room. Mr. Suniga had recently suffered a stroke and was bedridden as a result.  Not only was Mrs. Suniga tasked with maintain and running their home she was the primary caregiver for her immobilized husband. Hanging on the wall in their bedroom among the family photos and pictures were some of the commendations and awards that he received while serving in the Korean War. After visiting with them for about thirty minutes I excused myself and walked to the front door.  We discussed scheduling and some of the details of the roof replacement before I left, Mrs. Suniga thanked me for coming and said she didn’t know how they were going to pay for the work but made sure I knew that that was not my problem. Her pride and determination was overwhelming, when she closed the door I knew I had to do something to help. Fortunately I only had to make one phone call.

Sven Trautmann and group of successful business men veterans at the Rosedale Group are dedicated to helping veterans and their families. After I gave him the details of the project and shared Mr. and Mrs. Suniga’s story he made a quick phone call to the other members of the group and confirmed that they would be funding 100% of the cost for the Sunigas. I returned to the front door where Mr Suniga greeted me and when I informed her that the work was going to be taken care of and it wasn’t going to cost her anything she began to cry and hugged me.  One week later we replaced the roofing system and repaired the damage.

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