WAGONER — When Melvin Baker found out he was receiving a new roof at no cost, he was excited.
“I could have shouted all over the house — I just went speechless,” Baker said. “I’m so proud that someone is looking out after me.”
The new $8,000 roof didn’t cost Baker, a 100 percent disabled veteran, a dime, thanks to the generosity of a veteran-owned roofing company.
“I’ve got a new roof that I can’t see, but I can hear the rat-a-tat-tat,” Baker said as roofers installed the shingles.
Baker, who served in the U.S. Army in World War II, has lived in his home for close to 30 years. Baker is totally blind, confined to a wheelchair and is assisted by his caregiver Dee O’Farrell.
After recent bad weather, O’Farrell noticed that the roof might need some repair. After an inspection by Blake Henson of Muskogee’s Exterior Solutions by Craig’s Roofing, the roof didn’t need repairs — it needed a completely new roof.
Henson, a U.S. Navy veteran, talked to Craig Wilson, owner of the company, who agreed to re-roof Baker’s house for free. About a dozen workers arrived at 6:40 a.m. Saturday and began their task. Wilson also is a U.S. Navy veteran.
Henson said that when they stripped the roof down to the decking, there were six 4’x8’ decking sheets that needed to be replaced. The roof also received all-new pipe boots, venting and a new metal drip edge. Southern Shingles of Tulsa donated the 25-year roofing material, and there’s also a 10-year workmanship warranty.
“People don’t do a lot of things for free, much less put a roof on ...,” O’Farrell said. “Blake (Henson) is right up there with Elvis and God.”
Wilson has several veterans working for him.
“A fellow veteran needed help,” Wilson said. “The good Lord has blessed us, and it’s time to give back to the community.”
Wilson has decided to make this an annual project for his company and will keep an eye open for extra-special people to help.
Reach Mark Hughes at (918) 684-2908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.