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Veterans group rallies to help brother-in-arms

VIF SKIDMORE FOLO .jpg
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 20:30:15-04

SKIDMORE, Texas — A Bee Co. veteran and his wife are closer to recovery from Hurricane Harvey after Veterans in Focus found them some help with rebuilding their home.

Kevin Allen and his wife Lucy have basically been living out of one room in their Skidmore home since Harvey. Response to their story was tremendous, including one group eager to help their brothers-in-arms.

“I’m still stressed out, but it's coming along really good,” said Lucy Allen.

For the Allens, a little stress is better than what they have dealt with for nearly four years.

“I have mold in the house, I have termites, I'm using a port-o-potty,” said Lucy. “It's very uncomfortable.”

The Allens purchased a pair of pre-fabricated buildings and planned to live in them. Those makeshift living quarters, however, were coming along much slower than they hoped because Kevin is rated as 80 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Nothing was in it when we got them, so I've been working on them since, as i can during the day, because of my injuries, so it takes a while,” Kevin Allen told us in April.

“I came out and looked at it and decided he really needed some help,” said Dell Shaw.

Shaw is a member of the Coastal Bend Chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. The group helps veterans in need, such as Allen, who served in Operation Desert Storm.

“We try to keep busy with something like this all the time,” said Shaw.

The Allens had planned to walk outside between the buildings. However, Shaw and company had other ideas.

“Moved the white building over, and were going to build a walkway between them, a hallway to connect them,” said Shaw.

The Combat Veterans Association members volunteered their time to help the Allens, but they couldn't do it alone. There were also plenty of donations and commercial sponsors. Among them: Corpus Christi Portable Buildings, who moved one of the buildings at no charge; the Aransas Pass Lowe’s gave the group a 20 percent discount on materials and delivered them for only $20; Builders First Source in Rockport donated $600 worth of lumber; and Kathy Rhea donated a $250 Lowe’s gift card.

“Without that, we couldn't have done it,” said Shaw. “We have money that we used for this, but we can't fund a $10,000 project.”

As for Allen, this proud veteran now sees what's possible if you only ask for help.

“He's humbled himself and he's appreciative of all that's going on,” said Lucy. “He thanks all these guys who are doing a great job.”

As work continues at the Allen home, we’ve also told them about the Texas General Land Office’s homes program, in which the GLO takes over the property, tears down a disaster-affected house, and rebuilds it, free of charge.