A simple well-timed phone call led to the installation of a new roof for Veteran Raymond Thompson. This was made possible through a program, known as the Roof Deployment Project, through Owens-Corning that is aimed at helping Veterans in need. The Toledo-based company is the largest manufacturer of insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites and has offices and plants in numerous states and countries around the globe.
Ron Orts, VP of Rolling Thunder NY chapter 3, knew Jim Klein, of Home Pro Exteriors, who installed a roof on his house in 2016. He said Klein recently called him to say that Owens Corning sponsors a Roof Deployment Program and did he know a Veteran who needed a new roof. Just days prior to the call, Orts had been speaking with fellow member Charley Alonge about Veteran Ray Thompson’s leaking roof.
“We got things going and they [Home Pro] decided to do it and it’s just phenomenal,” he said, noting that the roofers had the roof stripped and replaced in just one working day.
Klein said when Owens Corning asked him about helping Veterans, he did not hesitate.
“I said absolutely; they take care of the materials and we donate the labor and the disposal of the old roof material,” Klein said. “When I reached out to Ron, coincidentally, he had somebody in mind, so I didn’t have to look far. We kind of got the cart going, then we got some horses and we hooked up and it all worked out.”
Orts said, “just by the stroke of the grace of God, Jim called me and it fell together just like a puzzle. It was perfect and it couldn’t have worked out better. Ray is very deserving of this and it’s great that Home Pro and Owens Corning is doing something like this for Veterans.”
Klein said the Thompson home is the first one his company has done through this special Roof Deployment Program.
“We plan on doing one every quarter. We have one coming up in Port Jervis for a Navy Vet within the next two months,” he said. “For us it’s a nice thing and we’re happy to be able to contribute what we can for Vets, Law Enforcement and First Responders.”
Klein said Home Pro does about 250 roofs a year and covers Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess counties in New York as well as the bordering Pike County in Pennsylvania.
Alonge said his chapter replaced a roof last year in Milton.
“It was a tin roof and we were there for about a week but we got it done,” he said. “We try to do for Veterans all the time and this one here just worked out great.”
Ray Thompson said it is comforting to know there are people in the country who appreciate Veterans.
“I didn’t realize there were that many good people in this world,” he said. “To me it’s country, God and family and to me, now they’re all family. They are all gentlemen, every one of them, and then some.”
Thompson is now 84 and served in the 3rd Marine Division from 1957 to 1963 in the Far East.
Denise Thompson thought that, “something like this would never happen in my lifetime because we always gave and I had no idea how I was going to get a new roof.” The couple’s daughter Gina Marie Iudica heard about this program through her holistic wellness business in Highland and got an application for her parents.
“The roof has a 25 year warranty so I don’t have to worry about a new roof for the rest of my life,” Denise said laughing. She said they have lived in their home for 43 years and will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary in March.
Ken Trager is the President of Rolling Thunder NY chapter 3, said, “It’s a God-send that it happened and we knew it when we were looking at Ray’s history and saw everything that he did; it was a no brainer to us.”
Hernan Zambrano, Senior Sales Manager for Owens Corning, came to see the work on the Thompson home. He said they often team up with companies like Home Pro Exteriors, Habitat for Humanity and Purple Heart Homes to find Veterans in need. He oversees the application process that a Veteran completes, “and if approved we happily donate the materials and a contractor donates the labor and a Veteran gets a new roof at no cost. This is the second project that I’ve been a part of and it’s a blessing.”