Union members donate furnace to disabled veteran

BAY COUNTY (WJRT) - (01/10/19) - A Bay County disabled veteran is a little warmer after a local union stepped up to help her.

The U.S. Air Force veteran, who didn't want to be on camera, said her heat went out about two weeks ago. She's been using space heaters since then.

During a trip to the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw she shared her issue with a worker.

A Family Assistance Center Specialist with the Michigan National Guard Family Programs Office then contacted United Association Local Union 85.

"This call came in on Monday and by Wednesday Doug's had a new furnace in the back of their van and members are here to install," said United Association Local 85 Business Manager Justin Pomerville. "It's not a hand out, it's just helping and it's a hand up."

In the past the plumbers, steamfitters and HVAC/R technicians have helped veterans in other ways.

"It was an obviously easy decision to make as a union standpoint. The disgruntling part is people we don't know about this is going on for," Pomerville said.

The union members rallied to get the furnace, and a crew from Doug's Plumbing, Heating and Cooling did the work.

"When it's dropping in the 20's and it feels like six degrees outside, that wind cuts right through a house and doesn't matter if you have space heaters or not, it's going to be cold," said Jason Lewis with Doug's.

The veteran is extremely grateful and wants the spotlight to shine on her heroes.

"We live in this community, we work in this community, and we represent this community," Pomerville said.

"The one that's in there is probably the original one, so I'm guessing it's probably 20 years plus. This one here is definitely a bit of an upgrade," Lewis said.

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