Habitat for Heroes: Starting in Faulkner County

    7:10 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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    CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) -- People can honor and pay tribute to our veterans in so many ways, but starting this month, there's a new way to do it in Faulkner County.

    This new way comes courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Faulkner County and is called Habitat for Heroes. The director said it's the first time for an Arkansas chapter to do this, and on Thursday, the action began at Herbert and Monnie Page's home near Lake Conway.

    Those who know 87-year-old Marine Corps Veteran Herbert Page know he also goes by "Lucky."

    "When I was knocked out by the artillery shell, they pulled my dog tags, and put me with the dead bodies, and they said, if we find him, he's going to be lucky," Page said.

    Crews would eventually find Page during his service in World War Two. He also served a year during the Korean War, stationed in Alaska.

    Sitting with his wife Thursday in their Conway home, Page felt lucky once again.

    Home Depot crews are working with Habitat for Humanity of Faulkner County, putting in a new and safer deck as part of the Habitat for Heroes program.

    "I fell off the porch, and I laid there in the corner for a couple of hours, and nobody could hear me hollering until I was able to crawl myself out of there," Page said.

    "Especially World War I and World War II heroes, they have served and to me I don't think they have officially received a welcome home or thank you, so this is just a way of thanking them for their service and dedication," Shenel Sandidge said.

    Shenel Sandidge is the Habitat chapter director. She said this is all possible through business partnerships and donations. Home Depot gave a $1,000 grant. U.S. Bank and Southwestern Energy have also donated money.

    "It's a way to give back to our community," one of the workers said.

    "That's exactly right," another worker said.

    The work goes beyond a new deck. Inside the Page's home, college students recently painted the walls, and new plumbing is coming in, too.

    "Our sink in the kitchen still doesn't drain at all," Page said.

    "Oh, it's unbelievable; I mean I couldn't believe it," Page's wife, Monnie said. "It's going to be great. It's going to be like starting over."

    It's starting over for these two, with a life's service making life ahead lucky for this veteran the second time around.

    "You all never know how much I appreciate all this," Page says to the workers. "I will dance at your weddings," he jokes.

    This Habitat Chapter has another project going on right now for a veteran in Damascus. To qualify, you must have a critical need, have the appropriate military discharge documents and be unable to do the work yourself.

    For more information on the program or to donate to it, call (501) 513-3244.

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