Veterans helping veterans: 'This is personal'

6:55 AM, Oct 5, 2011   |    comments
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MARIETTA, Ga. -- Of the 200+ Home Depot volunteers who came to fix up a VFW post in Marietta, nearly two dozen were veterans themselves.

Last month, the Atlanta-based home improvement retailer began its Celebration of Service, a two-month collection of community service projects designed to help veterans. They kicked the efforts off locally by renovating VFW Post 2681 in Marietta.

What made the event special were the handful of veterans who came out to work to help other veterans.

"This is personal, this is professional, and this is a tremendous opportunity," said one such veteran, Oregon Emerson III.

"It's a bond that, if you haven't been there, you don't quite understand it," added fellow veteran Bruce Crawford. "It's a bond that you never forget."

It's a bond that brought these veterans to Marietta, bestowing some good fortune on a place that's seen plenty of the bad. We first covered VFW Post 2681 this past March, when the building was trashed and robbed of thousands of dollars. Back then, they got help from donations through the 11Alive Help Desk.

On this day, they got a whole Help Office.

"It would have taken us 20 years to get done what we've got done in one day," said Carl Ryan, senior vice commander at the post. "I have PTSD and I have a hard time dealing with things, and to see what they've done today in eight hours, it makes you feel like you can do anything."

To learn more about the Home Depot Celebration of Service, click here.

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