Houston World War II Hero Gets Special Veterans Day Gift
Johnny Marino served his country proudly--and has the medals to prove it--during some of the most fearsome fighting of World War II. Afterwards, he settled in Houston, made a life for himself and for decades has resided on Caylor Street in the city's East End.
Marino, now in his mid-90s, was forced to vacate his home several months ago as the structure fell into extreme disrepair. That's when Rebuilding Together and Home Depot stepped into the picture and following a full day of labor Veteran's Day, November 11, Marino once again is calling his house a home.
Thanks to a Fund for Veteran's Assistance grant from the Texas Veteran's Commission, an old soldier was given a new lease on life as a crew of nearly 40 Home Depot volunteers put his house back in order. In addition to crtically-needed repairs to the inside and outside of the house, Home Depot also donated several new appliances and its employee-volunteers built a wheelchair ramp for the home.
Rebuilding Together and Home Depot partner on home repairs for about 20 veteran-owned homes in the Houston area each year.
"The Celebration of Service program is one which Home Depot is very proud of," said Sean Chandler, a local Home Depot store manager and crew leader of the group at the Marino home. "Home Depot employs thousands of service veterans, so this is a meaningful collaboration when our veterans can give back to veterans from generations before."
Despite a threat of inclement weather, the Home Depot team completed its work on time and many of the volunteers met personally with Marino, who expressed his appreciation to all.
"I want to thank you all very much, from the bottom of my heart," Marino told the Home Depot crew. "You have no idea how much this means to me."
A lot, for certain, but not as much as Marino's military service meant to his country.