Community comes together to help out veteran in need

Tina Washington speaking with Jerry Gagnon

Community members came together Friday to help out a veteran in need. 

American Legion Post 28 teamed up with local Home Depot stores to transform the home of Jerry Gagnon, a veteran who served in the U-S Air Force for 14 years. 

The Gagnon's told 47ABC that Friday's efforts mean the world to them. 

Marilyn Gagnon, the wife of Jerry Gagnon, said, "We're just thrilled and overwhelmed by what they're doing."

The Gagnon's home was in desperate need of repair, but the homeowners are not ones to ask for assistance, and it didn't help that Veteran Jerry Gagnon recently lost his voice. 

Marilyn Gagnon said, "Yeah, he had throat surgery for a growth he had on his chest and his surgeon, before she operated, said there's a chance that it may affect your vocal chord. Well, sure enough, it did. One vocal chord is paralyzed so that's a handicap for Jerry."

This handicap is just one of several. Jerry and his wife said they both struggle to get around and do physical labor now. They also added that there just isn't enough money to make much needed improvements. 

Jerry said, "It's either get medicine, or fix the chair over there."

That's why Friday's project means so much. 

Tina Washington, who works with American Legion Post 28 said, "They're having a hard time staying in the house and they had some things that they were not sure if it kept on being the way that it was that they would be able to stay here and so we always try to want to have them stay where they're comfortable."

American Legion members admit it was difficult finding a veteran for the project at first. Washington said, "It was pretty hard at the beginning because veterans don't generally like to let people know that they're in need they think they did their duty and their job and they don't want any thanks for it they're just happy to have served."

When they met Marilyn and Jerry Gagnon, however, they knew they had found a deserving family.

Robert Silvagni, the Pro Department Supervisor at the Home Depot in Lewes said, "In this case, both Mr. and Mrs. Gagnon are in their 80's. There's a lot of stuff here that needs doing just to keep the kind of keep the home up to par so they can spend the rest of their retirement here and enjoy it."

The Gagnon's said they are eternally grateful for Friday's volunteers.

Jerry said, "Wonderful people. They all came out for nothing."

Friday's volunteers were able to finish most of their planned home renovations, but they said they will be back to put in some finishing touches. 

If you are interested in learning how to get involved in your community, you can visit

Categories: Delaware, Local News