Reality remodel: community effort and donations help rebuild military veteran's home

Reality remodel: community effort and donations help rebuild military veteran's home
Ray Murphy watering his lawn about the remodel is unveiled; Source: KFDA
Volunteers pitch in to make sure Murphy's home is rebuilt; Source: Majorie Radcliffe
Volunteers pitch in to make sure Murphy's home is rebuilt; Source: Majorie Radcliffe
Volunteers complete yard work on Murphy's home; Source: Magorie Radcliffe
Volunteers complete yard work on Murphy's home; Source: Magorie Radcliffe
One man paints chimney and mantle of Murphy's new remodel; Source: Magorie Radcliffe
One man paints chimney and mantle of Murphy's new remodel; Source: Magorie Radcliffe

A military veteran whose home was completely destroyed in a fire received an outpouring of generosity and kindness from his neighbors in the effort to rebuild his home.

Businesses and organizations from across the Panhandle chipped in to make the remodel possible.

Even nationwide big-box stores like Home Depot donated their time and materials to make Murphy's home special.

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Murphy's remodel is a prime example of what a community can do when they come together.

Jim Bragg of Bragg Window & Door Replacement replaced all windows and doors for free.

He watched the progression of the project from the beginning and is thrilled for Murphy.

"What everybody has done is amazing," said Bragg. "[It's] like walking in to a different world, huge difference. I'm so happy for the man."

Vetstar housing specialist Bobby Rodriguez said the house was a complete loss.

"My partner and I showed up, Ray was inside taking five gallon buckets of debris out," said Bobby Rodriguez. "There was still water dripping, and stuff like that. [The house even] reignited a second time during the same day."

Vetstar works to improve the lives of all veterans. They step in and provide services when others can not.

"We initially put [our] Veterans in to houses," said Rodriguez. "We cover their applications fees, their deposit, their rent for a certain amount of time. Get them back on their feet, find them a job, set them up with all sorts of community resources. We try and help them up instead of pass them along."

Texas Panhandle Builders Association saw word of the remodel travel fast.

A couple phone calls, and plans started to fall in to place. By the end of day one, most of the supplies had already been donated.

"We took it over, one o'clock, something like that," said executive officer for Texas Panhandle Builders Association Lew Bradshaw. "By five o'clock, we had 90% of the donations of product and labor done."

Ray Murphy is still looking for donations in order to help make everything complete inside his home. If you'd like to donate, visit Amarillo National Bank's website and click on the 'Ray Murphy Benefit.'

Bragg says his father was a veteran, and Murphy's story hit close to home for him.

"My dad was a World War II vet who died three years ago," said Bragg. "So, it's just kind of a, a heartfelt thing. When I heard his story I knew I had to do something."

Rodriguez's take home message from the project: it's those you help who matter the most.

"I know for a fact that he's grateful. and he's going to really, really live a long, prosperous life in this house," said Rodriguez."That's all that matters. It's all about him at the end of the day."

In addition to receiving a completely remodeled home, Murphy was also gifted a new dog since his perished in the fire that destroyed his home.

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