Roofing contractor surprises a Vietnam veteran with a free roof

RCS Vietnam Veteran Free Roof 11.1
December 12, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Emma Peterson.   

Walking into JP Roofing and Metal Buildings, Inc., the last thing John Varnum expected was to leave with the promise of a new roof, free of cost! 

John Varnum is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. He went into JP Roofing and Metal Buildings, Inc. looking for a solution for his 42-year-old roof. John knew that shingles were only good for 20 years, but he did not know how he was going to afford a new roof. His only thought was to go in and see if he could make small payments to repair parts of his roof. When he got there, John recalled, "I went to JP and I told him my situation and he said, ‘Are you a vet?’ and I said ‘Yes,’ and he gave me some paperwork and I filled out all the paperwork and they approved it.” 

All that paperwork led to crews coming out to John’s house in Dormont, Pennsylvania and giving him a new roof. JP Roofing and Metal Buildings, Inc. supplied all the labor, free of cost. By working with the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project and Purple Hearts Home, all the materials were donated. John could not believe it and said in an interview with CBS News Pittsburgh, “I want to thank JP Roofing for their help to a veteran and I also want to thank Owens Corning for the supplies.”  

Both companies were honored to help this deserving veteran. The owner and CEO of JP Roofing and Metal Buildings, Inc, Joe Potocnik, spoke to their motivations for the gift, saying, “We are showing our appreciation to our veterans, we’re giving back to Mr. John Varnum. He served our country and in good faith and gave us our freedom to do what we’re able to do here.” Similarly, Al Yoklic, an Owens Corning area sales manager, said, “It’s just an honor. I mean, everything the veterans do for us through the years, very rarely do you have the opportunity to thank them. This is just a small way for us to give thanks to the veterans.” 

And this is not a one-off for either of these companies. Since 2016, Owens Corning has done over 500 of these types of projects. In this year alone, JP Roofing and Metal Buildings, Inc. has built roofs for three veterans in their community and has hopes of building two more.  

Photo Source: CBS News Pittsburgh

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About Emma

Emma is a content intern for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing, she enjoys a good movie night with friends and trying to cook new recipes.

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