A San Antonio TX community has rallied behind a 94 year old veteran, Alfred Guerra, after his home fell into disrepair. Guerra’s son and daughter had been able to keep up with home repairs but it became uninhabitable after his son, who had torn out much of the interior during the remodel, suddenly passed away from cancer last summer. Hoping to harness the power of social media, his daughter, Maria, reached out via Facebook to ask for help. It wasn’t long before a variety of veterans groups heard about the man who had earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for acts of bravery in World War II.
First to answer the call was the Military Order of the Purple Heart, followed soon after by Broken Warriors’ Angels, a local nonprofit serving San Antonio veterans and their families, along with the VFW Post 76, and the city’s Department of Human Services and Department of Military Affairs. “As combat warriors, we leave nobody behind. And as veterans, we leave no veteran behind,” Tony Roman, of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Mr. Guerra had moved in with Maria and was thrilled that the repairs were underway once again—but then the COVID-19 lockdown put the project on hold. Thankfully, this month, work on the house has resumed. Veteran volunteers who had served in three foreign conflicts—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam—arrived on the scene and worked as a team to gut the home’s interior and prep it for the next phase of the home makeover.
A new roof had been donated by the SRS Raise the Roof Foundation, and the electrical and plumbing systems are on their way to being updated. They are still in need of an HVAC system and the family is hoping for another guardian angel to come through there as well. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page with a modest $5,000 goal to help finance the much-needed repairs.
It may take another month or so to complete the project but more than anything else, Guerra yearns to move back into his home. He longs to tend the roses he named in honor of his late wife, Emma, in their garden. “It’s a wonderful thing,” said Maria Guerra, his daughter. “It’s a mission of mercy.” She said her father, who has been living with her for the past several months, has missed his home so much that at times, he cries.
Tony Roman said what’s been done has taken the generosity of all those who donated their time and skills to the effort, and he hopes that a company will do the same by donating heating and air conditioning for the small home.