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.