Thanking the Troops with a Veterans Day Surprise

For Veterans Day, the ABC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter was invited by Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) to be a part of a special surprise project for eight local military veterans. ABC, Jolly and more than 100 volunteers completed a makeover of the Martin Lott Residence, the home to veterans who are participating in the C.W. Bill Young’s Substance Use & PTSD Integrated Recovery (SPIR) Program.

“Today’s efforts were about saying thanks to a group of veterans who have worn one of our country’s uniforms to preserve our nation’s freedoms,” Congressman Jolly said at the event. 

ABC staff and three member companies were able to be a part of the experience donating time, labor and resources to project. While the chapter provided all food and drinks for the volunteers, ABC member companies Smith Fence, L.R.E. Ground Services and Merit Professional Coatings removed and installed fencing, removed 25,000 pounds of old concrete slabs, replacing it with sod and securing a decorative concrete wall, and pressure washed, sanded and repainted the home. 

“ABC understands veterans experienced a difficult transition from military to civilian life and our industry believes in helping our veterans through that transition,” says ABC Florida Gulf Coast Chapter President, Steve Cona III.  “ABC believes the field experience, values, and leadership skills learned while protecting America in military service translate well into a life building America as a craft professional.”

In addition, volunteers completed new landscaping on the property, donated a new basketball hoop, outdoor furniture and two custom-made cornhole sets showcasing the military’s five branches for the veterans to use in their downtime. 

All of the work was completed while the veterans were out of the home at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center Veterans Day ceremony as Congressman Jolly’s guests of honor. At the end of the day, the veterans returned home to the surprise, overwhelmed with gratitude for their new outdoor living space.

“It’s impossible to say thank you enough to our military for the sacrifices they make and the freedom they provide us,” said LRE Vice President and General Manager, Frank Vitale