Aging Rockford Navy veteran wins new roof in contest

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford veteran got a big surprise on Friday when work trucks unexpectedly showed up at his home.

He and his wife discovered they were the winners of a gift that will allow them to stay in their home.

Carla Mizner was at work when she got the call she’d been hoping for.

“He said, ‘You’re the winner! Your parents are the winners of the Veteran’s Roof Giveaway!'” Minzer recalls. “So, it’s very touching. I’m very honored.”

Minzner entered her parents in the Randy Palmeri and Son Veteran’s Roof Giveaway contest. Her father, Harold Brace, recently celebrated his 92nd birthday.

Brace is a WWII Navy veteran. Brace and his wife, Sonja, say they are thrilled to have been chosen.

“We’re overwhelmed,” Sonja says. “Happy. Can’t believe it’s true.”

Palmeri says choosing one winner from all the entries to the contest wasn’t easy. He says that reading the touching entries about local veterans is one of the reasons they hold the annual contest.

“We like to give back for the dedication of service they provide us,” he says. “For the blanket of freedom we sleep under every night. So, it’s a good thing.”

Brace has had some recent medical issues. He says paying those bills on a limited income has been a challenge. Repairing his roof was out of the question.

“We can’t afford to do it ourselves, ’cause Social Security is our only income” Sonja says. “There’s just not enough left over to do big projects.”

Palmeri is quick to point out that other local companies and workers contributed to the effort, too.

“This isn’t just Randy Palmeri and Son. This (sic) is Pella windows. This is John Beyer from Beyer Builders. They pay for everything to be installed. They install them [themselves.] IKO provides the shingles. Royal provides the siding, and then we have Richards Building Supply,” Palmeri says.

Minzner says the much needed repairs on the house are life changing for her parents.

“They hope to stay in the home for as long as they can. And this is gonna enable them to be able to accomplish that and just have something to be proud of,” she says.

Palmeri says they hope to continue the military appreciation giveaway again next year.

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