Volunteers build brand new home for veteran in Mayfield

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MAYFIELD, KY (WSIL) — On Saturday, June 18th, a veteran from Mayfield and his family will be living in their brand new home.

It’s at the corner of James and 5th Street in Mayfield. 

Timothy Andreasen and his family lost their home the night of Friday, December 10th. Now, six months later, Veterans and first responders from across the United States are helping him rebuild.

“It’s going to change their lives completely,” says Paddy Melville. He’s a Veteran, a Firefighter from New York City and the President of A Soldier’s Journey Home. Their website reads:

“At A Soldier’s Journey Home, we began 18 years ago by supporting a variety of disaster relief construction projects and have now devoted nearly a decade to building mortgage-free homes specially adapted for veterans with disabilities.  ASJH is a 100% volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) comprised primarily of current and retired firefighters and veterans.

 Each year we come together to build a home in only 12 days for a worthy veteran.  Each build draws more than 100 volunteers from all over the nation who return year after year because of their belief in our mission.”

Melville and 170 volunteers are working in Mayfield on Mr. Andreasen’s home. “We were here in January and unfortunately I’ve been in numerous natural disasters and this is definitely one of the worst we’ve experienced,” he says.

“The neighborhood more or less looked like a nuke bomb went off,” says Mr. Andreasen. “You could tell exactly where it hit and where it didn’t hit.”

Andreasen, his two kids and his mom and stepdad were in their home on the night of December 10th.

“I went through the whole house, there was glass shattered everywhere. I was just amazed at what it did,” he says. “My kids were a little nervous that night still after the storm went through and they still are a little nervous when they hear a siren go off. 

My mom and step dad were trying to be calm for them, I was trying to be calm but it’s still in the back of my head.”

Mr. Andreasen’s been through a lot. He still thinks about the night of the tornado, for one thing.

“It affects me, if I hear a sound it’ll wake me up and I’ll want to know what it is.”

He joined the military in 1999 and was stationed in Colorado. He was hurt during a training exercise and that injury ended his Army career in 2001.

“I’m over excited because of the house being built,” he says. “I’ve never had a brand new home.”

The home he was living in was built in the 1950s and was added on to throughout the years.

Now his new home will be an open floor plan, wind-rated up to an EF4 tornado and will have more handicap accessible features, should Andreasen ever need the option.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and A Soldier’s Journey Home want to make sure it’s a home he and his family can flourish in.

“The kids are excited in a way and nervous, too,” says Andreasen. “They’ve never had a bedroom this big. Even my daughter says it’s not fair that my closet is as big as her bedroom.”

“We know what these guys have gone through so we want to try and somehow make their lives easier,” says Melville. “We’re taking care of the Veteran but we’re also taking care of ourselves at the same time.”

They hope to have Mr. Andreasen and his family in their new home by Saturday, June 18th.

Volunteers work 12-hour days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They come from all over the United States, and volunteers from Louisiana, Seattle and New York City are in Mayfield to help.

They use two weeks of their own vacation time to get Veterans into brand new homes.

News 3 want to thank all of our Veterans and Mr. Andreasen for their service. We have more information on A Soldier’s Journey Home here:

https://www.asoldiersjourneyhome.org/