ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- A Western North Carolina group of volunteers is helping a local veteran restore his dilapidated home.
Former Marine Mike Reich of West Asheville says civilian life has been a sometimes losing battle. If you take a look around his trailer, you'll see saddening signs of a home in disrepair.
Mold and water leaks are just the beginning of the home's issues. Mike has been living without heat for most of the winter, so just coming home is disheartening.
"The environment that you go back to, your home, your house, means a lot to people," he explains. "And if you come back to a place that's not in the best shape, it can affect your attitude."
After seeing what it looked like before, a group called Sheep Dog Impact Assistance WNC is determined to give Mike an "after" picture to be proud of.
"The first thing that came to mind, it made me sad that someone was living in these conditions. Especially someone who served our country," says Chris Garrett, who's Sgt. Major of SDIA of WNC. "Also I'm a fellow marine so it tugged at my heart. "
A few weeks ago, volunteers began going to work fueled by donations from the community.
Wright's Carpet will provide the flooring, while Ferguson Plumbing is contributing bathroom fixtures. Together they're giving a veteran the home life he deserves.
"Everybody wants that in life, no one should be cheated of that," Garrett said.
And just knowing someone cares, gives Mike a sense of hope.
"It doesn't matter how fast the progress is, it's going in a forward direction," Mike said.
Donations of cash, product and labor are welcome. Along with veterans, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance of WNC wants to help emergency workers and law enforcement as well