Helping hands for 88-year-old Navy vet - FOX 13 News

Helping hands for 88-year-old Navy vet

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SEFFNER (FOX 13) -

A Tampa Bay area veteran received some well-deserved help around the home on Wednesday. Phyllis Gallant was treated to a free home makeover.

The 88-year-old Navy veteran has lived on the same Seffner property for 56 years. Earlier this week, it was covered in moss and mold. Wednesday, the front yard turned into a full-blown construction zone.

Gallant got a helping hand from the nonprofit Volunteers of America. Crews spent hours plastering, painting, and paving $5,000 worth of renovations. From start to finish, the project took less than 48 hours.

"We're focusing on critical repairs. Life safety issues, stuff like that," said Kevin Letch of Volunteers of America.

Some of the handymen and women had a close connection to Gallant. Twelve active-duty military members from MacDill Air Force Base joined in on the job.

"It's a brotherhood and a sisterhood. So for me personally, I want them to know we didn't forget about what you did. We know about your sacrifices and we're happy to come out here and help a fellow shipmate," said Omar Correa of the U.S. Navy.

The help hailed big results in just two days. But Gallant says it's not just about the aesthetics...she says it's about getting back a piece of pride.

"I think it'll be like a new place, I moved into a new place," Gallant smiled.

So far this year, Volunteers of America has rebuilt a dozen different homes for Tampa Bay's needy. They plan to tackle another eight by the close of 2012.

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