Ford workers, Operation Helping Heroes remodel disabled Lou. vet's home


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 13 at 11:31 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A disabled military hero and his family are getting a newly renovated home, thanks to some local volunteers.
Ford volunteers and Operation Helping Heroes are paying for a complete remodeling project of Sergeant John Gatz's home, after toxic mold was discovered.
"Thankful, relieved, appreciative. It truly is a miracle," Gatz wife, Christina, said.

Christina says she is thankful for the hard work of volunteers, those who are helping the Gatz family move back into the place they called home for 12 years.

"It was sad leaving it. Feeling very blessed that they are doing this for us," Gatz, said.

Toxic mold was discovered in the walls of their home, making life unbearable and dangerous for the Gatz and their three children.
The family was forced into an apartment in October, but Operation Helping Heroes and Ford UAW Local 862 is helping the Gatz get back to normal.

"Not only a veteran but has been to the Middle East twice. Two different wars for us and defending us. Fell on bad times," Nick Reid, with UAW Local 862, said.

The entire home is being gutted and made safe. Operation Helping Heroes and Ford are still working on the home. They say it is a work in progress and so is the funding for the project.

Fifteen-thousand dollars is what is still needed to buy extra materials to complete the home for the veteran of the Gulf and Afghanistan wars and his family.

Neighbors say they can't wait to welcome the Gatz's home.

"Anybody that's willing to help out a veteran, I'm all for it," neighbor Allen Burke, said.

"Without everyone supporting us, this would not have happened," Gatz, said.

The home is expected to be completed by July.