APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – A U.S. Navy veteran in Wisconsin has a new roof over his head and his wife says they are completely humbled.

On Monday, Aug. 15, Security-Luebke Roofing installed a new roof on West Tillman St. in Appleton for James (Jim) Van Linn as part of the Owens Corning National Roof Deployment Project.

The project itself is described as “a nationwide effort to show gratitude and honor the veterans who served our country and the families who support them.”

Cordelia Van Linn, Jim’s wife, said he works at Towne Lake Apartments in Grand Chute. She explained a little of Jim’s past.

“Jim served in the Navy 1968 to ’72. He was on the west pack mission to Vietnam,” said Cordelia. “So he’s seen some action.”

She went on to explain how she thought the idea of giving them a new roof started, “I can only assume that Jim was talking about the work that needed to be done to replace the roof. We had a storm that came through I believe in 2018 that did some damage to the roof. And he was concerned that the leaking that was going on was going to be a serious problem.”

“From there, [the boss] approached some of the employees and they were gonna volunteer some of their bonus checks to pay for our roof,” added Cordelia. “And somehow Luebke got involved.”

“People just sometimes nominate to us and tell the story and we submit it to Owens Corning to see if we can make this work,” explained Lisa Ortscheid, Director of Sales and Marketing at Security-Luebke Roofing.

As for Jim’s reaction, Cordelia said he shed tears of joy. “He cried. He’s a very soft-hearted man with kind of a hard exterior. He liked to pretend he doesn’t have a lot of emotional response to things.”

Since the inception of the program in 2016, organizers say more than 350 military members have received new roofs.

“We assumed that it would only be the house re-roofed but they’re going to do the garage as well,” explained Cordelia. “Which is way above and beyond expectations.”

Organizers say it couldn’t have happened without the partnership with Purple Heart Homes and the help of Edward Rose & Sons and Towne Lake Apartments.

For more information on the Roof Deployment Project, or to learn more about how you can get involved, you can contact roofdeployment@owenscorning.com.