BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — To celebrate Veterans Day a group of volunteer carpenters today decided to give back to a local disabled veteran by building and installing a much-needed ramp at his home.
The finishing touches to this ramp were put in Thursday morning and it was special to see many of the carpenters that helped build it, are veterans themselves.
It took just a couple of days to build and install, but these volunteers said it is all about giving back to those who served us. This time it was for 81-year-old, local Air Force veteran Kenny O’Neal.
“It is just a great feeling that we have for the people that help us,” said O’Neal,
O’Neal said doctors don’t know why it happened, but five years ago his legs just quit.
“I was in my shop, and I dropped to the ground. I just dropped, didn’t understand why so I crawled over and got myself back up,” said O’Neal.
O’Neal is now able to use a walker but said lately he has fallen down trying to get in and out of his home. For him, this ramp brings a sense of relief.
“Very very great feeling that I could get out of my house without worrying about falling,” said O’Neal.
That was the goal for those who helped provide this ramp like The Southwest Carpenters Union in Bakersfield.
“It is a great opportunity to be able to help veterans within the community. There are so many veterans in need. So, when we see retired veterans like Kenny here where we can get in and do something to improve the quality of their life, that is what the Southwest Carpenters aim to do,” said Josh Taylor with Southwest Carpenters.
Veteran Tony Martinez with Rebuilding Together Kern County echoes those sentiments and said he is happy they could help give O’Neal back some of his independence.
“We have a new friend in Kenny. Kenny has a new friend in us, and there are other things Kenny needs so we are going to continue to help him and other veterans also,” said Martinez
Martinez added that is just a small act of kindness for those who have served our nation.