He and his family now live in a shelter.
Sgt. Birdwell says he lost jobs for “Not being able to lift fifteen pounds, stand for long periods of time, and sit down for long periods of time, walk for long periods of time. I mean, most jobs require a minimum [for you to be able] to lift up to 25 pounds.”
Home Depot and the City of Rockford found out about the homeless vet’s situation, and are working together to renovate a home for Sgt. Birdwell and his family. It’s part of Home Depot’s Celebration of Service, a program the company has to help vets that have fallen on hard times.
Once word got out around the Forest City about project, dozens of area resident asked what they could do to help.
Chad Forrester, of Home Depot, says, “It's just a great opportunity that we have to make a difference in their lives on the positive side, when they've seen so much on the negative side.”
Jordon Coil, of Tri-Star Landscaping, the company doing the landscaping for the house, says, "With my dad being a veteran, it's pretty easy for me to come out here, too. It’s well worth time spent coming out here to help.”
Sgt. Birdwell is looking forward to settling into his new home, and starting college. He also plans on volunteering around the community. "I'm extremely thankful," he says. "I try to think of ways to repay them everyday, and you can't repay something like that.”
Home Depot hopes to have the house finished by September 9th.