Fort Worth

Fort Worth Veteran Gets Free Roof as Thank You for His Service

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A roofing company donated a free roof on Thursday to a Fort Worth veteran whose old one was falling apart.

"The noise is a wonderful thing,” Russell Sanders said over the sound of nail guns.

The same humble house on Littlejohn Avenue in the Poly neighborhood has been home for Sanders since he was a little boy.

He graduated from Poly High School in 1969 and went straight into the Navy, serving in the Vietnam War.

He's 71 years old now.

He never got married and lives alone.

"Few girlfriends along the way but they ran too fast and I couldn't catch them,” he said.

His roof was 30 years old and falling apart.

"I got estimates on getting a replacement and it was a lot more money than I had available,” he said.

So Lon Smith Roofing surprised him with a new one.

It's the 20th free roof they've donated to veterans.

Company executives and even the mayor attended a ceremony outside his house before workers started ripping off his old roof and installing a new one.

"Thank you for your service,” Mayor Betsy Price told him.

"To have a chance to celebrate something really heartwarming, it just makes you feel good,” she said.

"I'm just crazy happy about it,” Sanders said.

Sanders hopes the new roof lasts as long as the old one.

"I hope I last another 30 years,” he said chuckling.

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