SALINE, MI - It was when two wayward raccoons found their way into William Law's living room and kitchen two years ago that he, his wife and granddaughter, all living in the home, realized their roof was in need of repair. But for Law, an 87-year-old Army veteran who served in the Korean War era, finding the money to pay for a new roof was not an easy task, he said.
"The house really needed a new roof, but since roofs cost so much, we were having problems looking for a way to pay for it," said Law's granddaughter Mary Alice Truitt, who lives in the home. Fortune smiled on Law while looking for assistance from the Veterans Administration, which referred him to a charitable program that began two years ago with a mission to build new roofs for veterans. Neighborhood Roofing Company Inc. installed a new roof for free on Law's home in Saline Monday, Aug. 13, as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Owens Corning Platinum Contractors, working in coordination with Habitat for Humanity, has donated 83 new roofs to veterans nationwide in its two-year existence. Law's home is the 26th home to receive a new roof through the program this year. "It's amazing what they are doing for us and I'm truly grateful for everything they are doing," Law said as teams of roofers tore aging wood off his home throughout the morning. Law served four years in the army as a corporal, from 1948 to 1952, assigned to work in Army public relations until the Korean War broke out and the program was shelved, he said. Instead of being sent to Korea, the Army sent him to Panama, where he worked as a radio DJ, playing music for soldiers stationed there. "We're happy to help and appreciate his service to the country," Neighborhood Roofing Company Inc. Co-Owner Tom Meadows said. "We would love to do more, but we don't think there are enough vets reaching out to this program." Meadows estimated Law's home received about $6,000 of work donated by the program. Law has been living in the house with his wife, Lisle Law, since it was constructed 54 years ago. The couple had five children together, who later gave them seven grandchildren, one great grandson and a great granddaughter on the way, he said. After leaving the Army, he worked for a time at Ford Motor Company as a draftsman before going to Eastern Michigan University to earn a degree in business administration. From there he got a job at General Motors, where he worked for 31 years, retiring in 1989. For more information on the Roof Deployment Project, or to learn more about how to get involved in the program, visit RoofDeploymentProject.com.