Wounded combat veteran gets backyard makeover thanks to Monument Home Depot and DAV – Colorado Springs Gazette

MONUMENT • When the U.S. Air Strain retired Andy Clark, for him, it was a blessing in disguise.The…….


MONUMENT • When the U.S. Air Strain retired Andy Clark, for him, it was a blessing in disguise.

The Monument resident was retired from the Air Strain after 10 yrs of service that started in communications and finally led into aiding particular operations. His service took him to fight in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, amongst completely different places.

After his final tour in Afghanistan, he sustained accidents and refliped house after a yr of deployment, solely To Search out out his six months of relaxation and relaxation Turned two weeks earlier than he was informed he was needed For An further task.

He was prepared to go, regardless, however Clark’s supervisor stepped up and informationrmed the army powers that Clark had been injured Greater than as quickly as in his earlier tour. This led to the Air Strain’s choice to retire Clark after he accomplished A pair of yrs of bodily and psychological remedy On the Warrior Restoration Center at Fort Carson.

Right now, Clark Is taken Beneath consideration a 100% disabled fight veteran. However, The house he shares Collectively with his spouse and two sons hasn’t been best for him. As a Outcome of the yard consisted of nofactor however dust, Clark by no means stepped into it As a Outcome of it reminded him of the desert, the place he noticed fight.

A pair of yrs in the past, Clark’s mcompletely different approached Susan Jones, a particularty assistant retailer supervisor On the Home Depot retailer in Monument, asking if there was somefactor The store might do for Clark to remedy the desert panorama outdoors his again door.

Home Depot particularty assistant supervisor Susan Jones, left, currents the paperwork to Air Strain fight veteran Andy Clark of Monument for a Tuff Shed which was donated to him Oct. 21.

Jones is the captain of the native retailer’s arm of the Group Depot Basis, which funds by way of a grant course of tasks That Can be carried out for native disabled veterans, Similar to landscaping, house exterior work, and Once in a while renovation tasks for veterans teams.

Inside The autumn of 2019, Jones knew grant funding for the enterprise would take weeks, so it was decided to circle again to the enterprise The subsequent spring. That’s when the COVID-19 pandemic acquired here to El Paso County And compelled Jones and agency to take a step again and reevaluate. The enterprise stored getting Postpone, however not with out The inspiration offering some assist to Clark In the meantime.

“We have been In a place to current A lot of product from The store, like further timber, and see if there was Anyfactor which acquired here aprolongedside,” Jones said.

Eventually, starting six weeks in the past and with the volunteer labor currentd from the Air Strain Academy and the Air Strain, The primary Little bit of Clark’s yard landscaping enterprise was underway. Jones and The inspiration have been In a place to get the grant information submitted and acquired A quick fliparound.

Collectively with landscaping, Clark acquired A mannequin new Tuff Shed from The store as a donation, sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 50 in Colorado Springs.

“We would have appreciated to have a sponsor for Andy To have The power to get the funds Important to do the panorama or A minimal of short-term product donation,” Jones said. “I reached out to the DAV two yrs in the past and simply stored In contact, letting them know the factors we needed.”

The Clarks’ yard renovation enterprise started with a retaining wall. In 2019, Clark’s basement was flooded As a Outcome of of grading on his property, which made the retaining wall An instantaneous necessity. Home Depot currentd the supplies for it, however Clark was unIn a place to do the labor himself As a Outcome of of his disabilities. Clark contacted his Air Strain captain, and earlier than he knew it, Air Strain Academy cadets, airmen First-class, grasp sergeants, staff and technicians from the Air Strain acquired here For two days to carry out the labor, together with planting timber and shrubs, laying down two layers of weed barrier, and extra.

Later, Home Depot ended up with a pallet of 16-inch by 16-inch pavers which have been Not needed for a buyer particular order, so the pavers have been furtherly donated to Clark’s enterprise. The veteran’s mcompletely different, his father — who May even be a 24-yr veteran of the Air Strain, his sister, spouse And youngsters pitched in To place a walkway designed To look like a suspension bridge Throughout the yard, As properly as to a checkerboard pattern with reprimarying pavers.

ABOVE: Air Strain veteran Andy Clark, of Monument, appears over a wall devoted to the associates Who’ve served in the armed forces On the Home Depot retailer in Monument.

“I can truly take pleasure in my yard now,” Clark said. “I can’t put into phrases how a lot it makes me really feel that what I’ve carried out was appreciated. Typically, it really feels Such as you’re a quantity After which they drop you. There simply aren’t enough assist methods On the Market for veterans, and there aren’t going to be. It’s That simple.

“We’ve been at wrelaxationle for the final 23 yrs and there’s simply too many vets. The system is overwhelmed. It’s not the system’s fault, However it’s not the vets’ fault both. It actually touches my soul to know people actually care. As somebody who has been On the brink of demise, it currents you one factor to Look forward to.”

Regardless of his accidents, Clark really feels his retirement was a blessing. Being away For Lots of his older son’s creating yrs, by refliping house he was In a place to witness The enlargement and enchancment of his youthful son.

“I missed The primary time, however I get to be there now,” Clark said. “I can endure by way of the ache if I get to see my youngsters’ smiles. That’s what it was for.”

Initially from Detroit and stationed at Peterson Air Strain Base, Clark was retired from Constructing 2 On The backside, the placeas his father retired from Constructing 1. With his mom and father nonetheless in The world, and wanting his sons to develop up understanding their grandmom and father, Clark decided To primarytain his household in The world and finally made the household’s house in Monument.

As for the Group Depot Basis, Jones said she was joyful to finally see their efforts To assist Clark and his household come to actuality.

“The rationale That is actually pleasing is For therefore prolonged I wasn’t constructive this was going to work out, particularly Everytime You start one factor Initially of a yr when the world takes a flip,” Jones said. “Every month we have been ready for A mannequin new quarter and new expectations for what we have been In a place to roll out.”

However, Clark’s story furtherly makes Jones further Happy with The inspiration’s efforts on his behalf.

“Do You’d like to’re going to do one factor good For somebody with that need, you On A daily foundation hope it’s For somebody who deserves it,” she said. “It mightn’t have gone to A greater man.”