Volunteers Step In to Aid Veteran

Posted at: 10/15/2013 11:03 PM
Updated at: 10/24/2013 10:55 AM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- A group of veterans and contractors in Rochester are banning together to help a fellow vet who can no longer live in his home.

Earlier this year the Rochester City Council determined the home of World War II veteran Jerold Young was uninhabitable and would have to be torn down.

His health prevented him from properly maintaining the home, and now a growing number of people are making plans to help him cover the cost of demolition.

Awarded the purple heart while serving with the Marines in the South Pacific, Young has always taken care of others, looking after four younger brothers and helping start the YMCA in Rochester.

Now 91 years old and with his home set for demolition, it's time for others to help him.

“He’s very up spirited, very giving person and the veterans and the Rochester builders are here to help see this thing through,” said Terry Throndson, a Vietnam veteran. “This is the least we can do."

After being swindled out of his savings, a half dozen local veterans groups, along with Rochester Area Builders, are organizing to help Young come up with the roughly $30,000 it will take to tear down and remove the old home.

“We’ll do as much as we can with our manpower and our equipment, the people that we have, to help eliminate a lot of those costs,” said Jean DeWitz, president of Rochester Area Builders. “But there's costs that we just can't control."

To help out, the group is asking for the public to donate to the cause, saying they want to show Young that the community cares about him and appreciates his service.

“It’s a little daunting for him,” DeWitz said. “Many hands make for light work and that's our mission here is to make the work a lot lighter for him."

Young now lives with his niece in Owatonna, but he said he appreciates the outpouring of support and is thankful to have lived in such a generous community.

“I really appreciate everything everybody does because I've always done things for everybody else and I didn't have to have them do for me,” Young said. “Now it's getting turned around and now I'm getting something to help."

If you would like to donate to help with the demolition costs, an account in Young's name has been set up at Home Federal Bank.

For a list of Home Federal locations, click on the following link: http://www.justcallhome.com/Locations.aspx