SKIDMORE, Texas — There’s good news for a Bee County veteran whose home was left virtually unlivable after damage from Hurricane Harvey.
We first introduced you to Kevin Allen in April 2021. A month later, we showed you the progress made on his home. More than a year since then, with the help of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, the project is nearly finished.
“Thank God they came out and helped us because it’s been . . . a lot,” Allen said. “We’re grateful.”
Allen has a lot to be grateful for. That’s because the last 14 months have been a lot better than the previous four years.
It’s been that long since he and his wife have a sturdy roof over their heads.
“Everything has gone a lot better than we thought it would,” Allen said. “A lot better. It looks really nice. They did a great job.”
‘They’ are the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Post 2380.
“We’ve just been busy, almost from the ground up,” said post commander Dell Shaw.
After Harvey, Allen bought a pair of prefabricated buildings he planned to renovate, but depression, and a debilitating hip condition, kept him from finishing the work.
“I have bone-on-bone," Allen said. "And the metal rod in my leg doesn’t help.”
That’s when the Combat Vets Association stepped in. They took the buildings, moved them side-by-side, and built a walkway between them.
And that’s not all.
“We had to put ceilings in, we had to put sheetrock in, we put insulation in,” Shaw said. “Floors, cabinets.”
Today, Allen’s property is hardly recognizable. Shaw says that wouldn’t be the case without dedicated volunteers and sponsors.
Corporate sponsors included Pro Build of Rockport, Gary Thomas Portable Buildings of Corpus Christi, Loews of Aransas Pass, the Rockport Rental Center, Vaquero Windows and Doors of Rockport, and Alamo Lumber of Beeville. Kathy Rhea of Austin, Tommy Hanover of Rockport, Jack Allen of Blanco, and Pete Morin of Austin all donated privately.
“We have had so many sponsors, so many people, and so many members that have shown up,” Shaw said. It’s been a long project, but it’s been very rewarding.
Just as rewarding is the friendship forged between the Allens and the veterans who helped.
“You meet people with things like this; you communicate and a bond forms,” Shaw said.
“They have been great,” Allen added. “They’re a Godsend.”
While the project is nearly finished, the Combat Vets Association still needs a little help putting the finishing touches on the plumbing and electrical.
Any potential volunteers or sponsors should contact the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans. Contact Veterans In Focus reporters: Greg Chandler at email@example.com and Pat Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org