News coverage of HWAU helping a vet in need.
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A veteran who is new to New Mexico got a big gift from a local organization.
Disabled veteran Leigh Pavone served in the Army for four years. While in Iraq, Pavone suffered multiple setbacks including broken bones and PTSD.
He recently moved his family to Rio Rancho and they were in desperate need of a vehicle.
That’s when “Heroes Walk among Us” stepped in and gave him a car.
“At the time we were borrowing a friend’s car and it wasn’t working out very well. But we were making due. Now things will be a lot easier for us I think,” said Pavone.
This is the third vehicle this year the organization has given to vets in need.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)– Relief for one local veteran whose home improvement nightmare is coming to an end.
Mischelle Huling is getting a new roof from local companies through a group called Heroes Walk Among Us.
Huling claims a local roofer ripped her off, leaving her with an unfinished roof. The roofer denies those claims, but when Heroes Walk Among Us heard about Huling’s situation, they decided to lend a helping hand.
Now the group says they’ve found two local roofing companies to donate supplies and services to help.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A woman is accusing a local chaplain of ripping her off. But he says he was just trying to help her, and now she’s slandering his name.
Mischelle Huling showed KRQE News 13 why she says her northeast Albuquerque home is now a hazard, pointing to water damage and mold.
“It’s not a good healthy condition to be living in, but we try to manage. There’s nowhere else for us to go,” Huling said.
She’s a veteran, dealing with everything from back pains to PTSD and insomnia as a result, and says the family can’t afford to be staying in a hotel.
She said the problems started after she paid Kevin Williams of Shue Contstruction $6,500 for work he did on her roof.
She said she met him through church and trusted him.
“It’s horrible. I feel very betrayed, very upset, very disgusted,” Huling said. “A two to three day job ended up taking 40 some days.”
Williams said he’s been a contractor for 30 years and that her issues are not a result of shoddy work.
Rather, he said, Huling had issues with her roof before he even touched it, and he only stepped in to help because, as a community chaplain, he was trying to do something nice for someone in need.
“Me doing work is not work. It’s a ministry for me,” Williams said.
He declined to speak with KRQE News 13 on camera, saying his attorney advised against it because Huling is now suing him.
Williams estimates he did $2,700 worth of work for Huling for free and that he offered to fix leaks, but she wouldn’t let him.
Huling claims she was told not to after learning that, despite handing her a business card that said otherwise, he was not licensed.
Williams said he never claimed to be and that he didn’t give her the business card in an effort to deceive her.
“That wasn’t even a thought. What was on my mind was giving her my name and my phone number,” he said.
While they sort out what happened, Heroes Walk Among Us is looking ahead to getting Huling’s roof fixed, working with local companies willing to donate their time and materials.
They said K-Ram Roofing has offered to do the work to fix it while Roofing Supply Group is providing the necessary materials.
“We’re here to fix the problem. That’s what our organization does. We do the best we can to fix the problems,” said Shane D’Onofrio, Founder of Heroes Walk Among Us.
Huling says she’s also had problems with her HVAC system backfiring now. That sound is triggering her post-traumatic stress disorder after her nearly 21 years of service with the U.S. Army.
Williams says his license was wrongfully revoked three years ago and after getting the run-around when he tried to resolve it, he decided not to pursue it further.
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Help is mounting for a wounded veteran home from the Middle East. For him, home is the problem. But, things changed quickly when the community got word about the problems with his house.
The community has rallied support around this vet and his wife but there are still thousands of dollars worth of repairs needed to make their house a home.
Frank Caulfield was overseas, serving his country in Afghanistan when his now, ex-wife bought them a home.
“She showed me a satellite photo of the house and big yard, what I wanted, pitched roof, everything was fine,” says Army Veteran Frank Caulfield.
Yet, things changed when Caulfield arrived home, injured from combat.
“It was just one nightmare after another,” Caulfield said.
It started with extensive termite damage. His walls were infested. Once Caulfield tore down the drywall, he found a laundry list of problems.
“I got a lemon,” says Caulfield.
The electricity was wired incorrectly, the air conditioning and vent system needed work, there were plumbing issues, the stucco started falling off and the load beams were wrong, making the house structurally unstable.
The disabled vet shelled out thousands of dollars but, ultimately, gave up.
“It was better, almost, to foreclose on the house,” Caulfield says.
Luckily, regular volunteer work with Heroes Walk Among Us got the attention of Shane Donofrio, founder of the group. It’s a group that houses homeless, disabled vets and helps them find jobs.
“I walked in here and I saw this and I’m like, what is your problem?” recalls Donofrio.
“He was pretty upset. He was pretty upset that we were living like this for four years,” explains Caulfield.
Donofrio took to the radio with Caulfield’s situation and the support started pouring in.
Already, local businesses have donated more than $20,000 worth of labor and supplies.
“I think they went above and beyond what they should have done,” says Caulfield.
Yet, Caulfield and his wife Kristin still have a long road ahead of them.
“They’re still giving enough and kind enough to help but, yet, who’s helping them?” asks Donofrio.
The Caulfields are looking for help, especially when it comes to electricity repairs and a new kitchen. Right now, they only have power on one side of their home and repair estimates are around $15,000.
For more information about how you can help the Caulfield’s or if you want to learn more about the businesses who have helped the family, you can contact Heroes Walk Among Us.
There are many ways that you can help HWAU. Take a look at all the ways.
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