By Randy Sommerfelt, U.S. Army veteran and Repair Corps participant
Randy Sommerfelt was in the U.S. Army for seven years. He served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was stationed in Panama, Germany and Korea. While in Panama, he met his wife Luzmila. After Randy’s honorable discharge in 1993, the Sommerfelts moved to Waco, Texas, so he could be closer to the VA Hospital for regular therapy for a degenerative eye condition. By 1997, Randy was blind, making everyday tasks much more dangerous. Habitat for Humanity and The Home Depot Foundation’s Repair Corps program helps military veterans like Randy by repairing and improving their homes to make them more efficient and accessible.
About two years ago, I was at the VA hospital for the blind rehab program when I was given a reference for Habitat’s Repair Corps program. My house was in desperate need of upgrades. My roof had leaks, our porch was rotting, and my bathroom wasn’t accessible.
I remember being approved for the program. I was very excited. The workers showed up quickly to get started on the repairs and were done within a week. Everyone was friendly and worked very hard. I can’t thank them enough for their help.
Not only did they fix my roof and porch, but they also repaired the ramp leading up to my house. They installed insulation and a stand-up shower in my bathroom.
It’s nice to be able to take a shower without worrying about falling down. We live in Texas, and my house was never insulated, so that has helped tremendously with controlling the temperature.
I would definitely suggest the Repair Corps program to veterans in need of home maintenance. Our house feels like a home to me now.