ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — With Veterans Day two weeks away, two Quad Cities groups are celebrating a local hero a little early. Volunteers spent Saturday, Oct. 29, building a ramp for veteran Emil DeSmet of Rock Island.
Emil served in the Philippines and Okinawa during the Korean War as a private First Class Marine. 65 years later, his contribution to the country is still being recognized and rewarded. The new wheelchair ramp allows Emil to remain independent in his home. Both he and his wife will use the ramp, which was installed and paid for at no cost to them.
The volunteer builders say they're happy to help a well-deserving man stay safe, happy, and healthy. Volunteer Roy Nelson explained that helping build is "just self-satisfaction of getting this completed for a veteran who gave an awful lot."
Some volunteers were part of the Rebuilding Together Quad Cities organization, as well as Team Depot, the Home depot's associate-led volunteer force.
Nelson says both groups plan to do a "whole lot more" in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Over the past 15 years, the two organizations have repaired nearly 1,000 homes in the Quad Cities, all at no cost.