(01/22/13) - Military veterans gather at American Legion halls and VFW posts for meetings and social occasions. Many of the buildings are in need of renovations, but for many military organizations, money is tight.
A Saginaw American Legion post got an extreme makeover Tuesday, thanks to well-known home improvement company.
American Legion Post 22 in Saginaw was built more than four decades ago, and it's never seen a renovation project quite like this.
"It's awesome, I can't believe it's happening," said Bruce Manry, Post Commander of American Legion Post 22.
People are busy painting, putting down carpeting, and making the interior of the building like new again. This is part of the Home Depot Foundation's mission to help veterans.
"Our mission for veterans is to ensure that every veteran has a safe and happy home," said Judy Custer, of Home Depot.
And that means making American Legion Posts safe and happy, too.
"New ceilings, carpeting, painting, we are going to work outside as well, new vanities for the bathrooms, a lot of things that they needed to spruce up the place," Custer said.
Improvements Manry says would be difficult to pull off. "We are struggling right now," he said.
He says membership is down, and the only way the organization survives is through members' fees and donations."
"If we didn't get this, we would never have it done. It would probably take us a year to get the carpeting in the clubroom," he said.
The Home Depot Foundation grant is for about $6,000 for materials, and then there is the labor.
"The labor alone is worth thousands, so that's all free," Custer said.
About 70 Home Depot employees from Mid-Michigan are volunteering their time to get the work done.
"It feels good, it's a great payback for what they do," said Bill Sova, of Home Depot.
"They've been on the front line and everything else, and this is our turn to give back to them and say 'thank you,'" said Cindy Beier, of Home Depot.
While the interior will be done Tuesday, a fresh coat of paint will be put on the outside of the building in the spring.
ABC12 Main Station