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Lawrence Downes, of Palos Heights, who is an Army veteran, had a new roof built for free via a vets program from Legacy Restoration. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Lawrence Downes, of Palos Heights, who is an Army veteran, had a new roof built for free via a vets program from Legacy Restoration. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights veteran gets a new roof

By Jeff Vorva

Poor Sierra.

The 20-year-old cat had a pretty rough day on Oct. 20. With all that pounding, banging and noise throughout the morning and afternoon there was a lot of meowing going on and it wasn’t because she was happy.

Sierra was the only one in the house unhappy on that day.

Palos Heights’ Lawrence Downes was delighted when he received a new roof on his house via Legacy Restoration as part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project.

Since 2016, more than 300 military members received new roofs and now it was Downes’ turn.

“They said they would do it for free and I couldn’t turn that down,” he said.

ROOFERS scaled

Workers put a new roof on Lawrence Downes’ house in Palos Heights on Oct 20.

The 73-year-old Army veteran served in the Vietnam War and saw some action including being in a bunker when a bomb exploded. He and two other crawled out and were shaken up but he escaped injury.

Downes said he moved into his house on 71st Court 36 years ago and wanted a strong roof that would last him 35 years. It lasted an extra year but it was time in 2021 for a new one and he requested another roof that would last another 35 years.

Legacy’s Illinois Market Sales Manager Brad Grogan said this is one of the oldest roofs he has repaired.

“It’s 36 years old and it was the same age as me,” he said.

BANNER scaled

Legacy Restoration officials Brad Grogan (left) and Brookley Wofford Topel pose by a sign in front of Lawrence Downes’ house in Palos Heights. Legacy gave Downes a new roof through a veteran’s initiative.

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