ATLANTA — Atlanta-based Home Depot is wrapping up work on eight homes — mostly for veterans — in one westside neighborhood.
Their day of service is meant to honor those who served our country leading up to Veterans Day tomorrow.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was in southwest Atlanta, where hundreds of employees worked and left behind a special surprise for a special veteran.
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A small army in orange converged on a southwest neighborhood and the home of veteran Alan Sullivan.
He and his wife, Barbara, moved to the neighborhood in 1969. “She liked it, fell in love with it, (and) didn’t want to look at anything else,” Sullivan said.
Sadly, she passed away in April of this year.
Then his mother, who he also cared for in the house, died in August.
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More than 200 Home Depot volunteers are working on his and seven more homes on Atlanta’s westside for Veteran’s Day.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Sullivan said. “I didn’t expect this.” The volunteers’ renovation work includes landscaping, painting and decking.
“It’s nice because I was going start one piece at a time, to get it done,” Sullivan said.
The 75-year-old retired after 25 years of service in the U.S. Navy, where he worked launching planes off aircraft carriers.
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Home Depot’s CEO Ted Decker says the company committed $500 million to veteran causes, but to them, it’s more than just a donation.
Here, they partnered with local nonprofit House Proud to find homes of veterans that could use a little help sprucing up.
“We love to be out with our associates, with our partners, in the community working with people like Mr. Sullivan. It’s easy to write a check. It’s a lot more fun to be out here and in the communities,” Decker said.
They also created a memorial garden in Mr. Sullivan’s backyard, a spot for him to remember his wife and mother. That gesture came as a total surprise, and he is grateful for it.
“I love them for everything they are doing, and it’s a blessing from God,” Sullivan said. “(I) wish my wife was here to see it.”
While some tears were shed, there were also many smiles from all the homeowners and veterans — as well as the Home Depot workers, who left each one some type of surprise as a way to say thank you.
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