Veterans Give Back
Officers of the Department of Veterans Affairs police joined NOAHH on site for the second time on Saturday, June 20. Though they enjoyed giving back the first time they worked with NOAHH, their latest trip held special meaning, because the new home will be going to a veteran, one of NOAHH’s newest partner families, Claudius Miller.
Miller comes from a family with a military history. His father was in the Navy, and all but one of his brothers served in the military. He served in the U.S. Air Force for many years after he graduated high school. Before his military career, he learned gained a work ethic from the paper routes and lawn mowing jobs he had as a kid.
“It’s hard, but I’m learning stuff,” said Officer Meg Powell of the VA Police. “The end result is going to be a veteran has a bran new home, so I can sweat a little bit for that.”
Officer Powell has been with Veterans Affairs for seven years, and she lives on the West Bank. She has seen the city progress over the last ten years.
“It’s amazing. I think they’ve grown leaps and bounds. It’s better than it was before,” she said.
The idea to help another veteran find a home began during Police Week in May when the deputy chief decided to partner once more with NOAHH. Miller joined the program not long after, and The veterans joined NOAHH to help with sheathing, trusses, and interior walls. Captain Kevin Ricks noted that the opportunity to give back not just to a veteran who is not as fortunate as himself was his motivation, but to the greater New Orleans community.
Officer Jason Queary, who has been with the department for three years (and in New Orleans for seven), noted the positive impact of affordable housing in the city. “You’re slowly getting people in, not just veterans, but all the people whose houses were destroyed. You’re getting people back to New Orleans.”