MILITARY MATTERS: House of Heroes back to work with church volunteers

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 9:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - One of the largest churches in the Chattahoochee Valley recently partnered with a military-based organization that took a big financial hit because of coronavirus.

Their goal at the most recent project was to honor a decorated veteran and his family at their home.

Viola Petty and her husband, Retired Staff Sgt. Wayman Petty, are getting a helping hand at their Columbus home, thanks to local military non-profit House of Heroes. It was their first project in more than four months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been sort of locked away since March and haven’t been able to do anything,” said Susan Wood, executive director of House of Heroes Chattahoochee Valley. “So, getting back today is getting back to our mission.”

They celebrated this veteran with song and giving him an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol. It was a ceremony in the middle of a hot work day for volunteers from Cascade Hills Church, who stayed busy to honor the Petty’s.

“I had a bedroom completely painted, then they pressure washed the outside, pressure washed the house and any other small things I asked them to do,” Viola Petty said.

“Really, give it a new lease on life to look vibrant and good,” said Reggie Lewis, a Cascade Hills Church volunteer and House of Heroes board member.

“As a veteran myself, to be able to give back is just amazing. What House of Heroes does and Cascade Hills - volunteering with Love Works - is a blessing,” said Dean West, volunteer and military veteran.

52-year-old Staff Sgt. Petty’s Army career spanned 20 years, starting in 1987. He served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Now, people from a local church are serving him.

“In so many situations, it’s too big of a task for them to take on. So, we’re able to bring in folks who are part of construction,” Lewis added.

“We [House of Heroes] are way behind, so we’re happy to get started back and hopefully the fall will bring more teams, and you don’t have to have a big team,” Wood added. “You can come out with a small team or 10 or less, and we’ll find something for you to do.There are dozens of projects on the House of Heroes list to have renovations and repairs done and they need volunteers and donations and to be able to give back to these veterans who fought for our freedom.”

“They gave up a lot and they’re still giving up a lot with their illnesses, and not being able to take care of themselves. I think everyone should stand up and do what they can to help,” West said.

Viola Petty closed with, “I just want to thank them for coming out and doing this for my family,” said Viola Petty.

Cascade Hills Church teams have two more House of Heroes projects soon.

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