WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan Vietnam veteran is having the expense of a new roof taken off his shoulders.
There’s not much rest for Manuel Esquivel. The Vietnam veteran underwent triple-bypass surgery in early June and is still recovering — but the sound of the hammers overhead is worth the disturbance.
“It’s pretty expensive to have a roof installed on your house,” he said.
But he doesn’t have to worry about that cost — a nationwide program to help veterans is taking care of it. Esquivel and his Wyoming home are the latest recipients of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project.
“It’s for vets, and we got family members who are vets and it’s always good to do a good deed,” said Jason Tribe, a job site manager for West Michigan Roofing, which is partnering with Owens Corning and Habitat for Humanity on the project. “He was in need. The roof was in bad shape.”
Esquivel said his needs haven’t always been met and his service wasn’t always appreciated.
“When I came back from Vietnam, the first thing I did, ’cause the way we were treated, I got rid of everything I had related to the military,” Esquivel said.
He said he didn’t speak about his experiences in the war for 30 years. Finally, he was able to talk to his brother and get it off his chest.
These days, he’s taking good care of his chest as he continues to recover. Meanwhile, the crew of roofers is taking good care of his home.
“Just another day. They like it, though — everyone here has family members that are military,” Tribe said.
“I hope more people get an opportunity to use it,” Esquivel said of the roofing program.