One of the country’s biggest roofing materials companies teamed up with a veterans’ nonprofit and a Colorado contractor last week to provide a new roof for a Colorado Springs veteran, free of charge.

In partnership with the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project and Purple Heart Homes, Cenco Building Services completely replaced a roof and gutters for 11-year Army veteran Christopher Hayes and his wife, Vanessa.

“It’s really great to give back to someone who’s made that kind of sacrifice,” said Cenco program manager J.P. Ritchie.

The Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project is a nationwide endeavor to show gratitude and support for military service members, like Hayes, and their families. The home-improvement initiative has teamed up with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, the Purple Heart Project, and Support Our Troops to provide new roofs for more than 250 veterans since the program’s inception in 2016.

The Hayes family applied with the roofing initiative in November and were officially notified of their approval in January.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Vanessa said. “At first, I wasn’t sure it was even real.”

Vanessa said the home, which the couple purchased in 2015, is about 50 years old, and that the roof was in poor condition. Hayes agreed with his wife’s assessment, saying the repairs could not have come at a better time.

“It was in pretty bad shape,” Hayes said. “There were shingles missing and we’ve had to patch a leak.”

When the contractors arrived at the home Thursday morning, the Hayes family was treated to an additional surprise.

“They told us they’re also going to replace our gutters,” Vanessa said. “That wasn’t included at first.”

The contractors expected to have the roof finished by Thursday afternoon and planned to work on the gutters Friday, Ritchie said.

“We’re pretty happy,” Vanessa said as the couple watched the contractors work on their home. “This lifts a big financial burden off us. This is a great program.”

Ritchie said he was grateful for the opportunity to help someone who defended the nation for more than a decade.

“I don’t think we can ever do enough to give back to the people who served,” Ritchie said.

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