Volunteers give Vietnam Vet special holiday gift

December 20, 2013 3:10:22 PM PST
When Superstorm Sandy's strong winds toppled two enormous pine trees onto Bob Guidi's deck, he knew he could never afford to rebuild it.

"I'm on a hundred percent disability, been that way since 1971," said Guidi.

That's the year this Green Beret got shot in combat for the second time and came home to New Jersey. He served with the Special Forces in Vietnam for four years.

"This is a bronze star; both of them are for valor. This is a purple heart on T-2," said Guidi.

He has medals, but zero morale, suffering from decades of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Bob's destroyed deck symbolized just another unfixable part of his life when insurance denied the claim.

But when The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) offered Bob a hand, he accepted.

The NADRA is about to give Bob a platoon of helping hands through its Decks for a Solider program.

One of the Decks for a Soldier volunteers, Bruce Verblaauw, explains how important it is to take care of Veterans.

"Freedom is never free and we feel very strongly about taking care of our Veterans who have given so much. Some have given their lives,' Verblaauw said.

Local builders, suppliers, and contractors stormed the Mine Hill deck, and in just 4 days, the deck went from demolished to deluxe.

This deck became more meaningful for another reason last winter when Bob found out his exposure to Agent Orange riddled his body cancer.

"I have bone marrow cancer. I have malignant tumors on my liver and my kidney," said Guidi.

Doctors told Bob that he doesn't have long to live.

The simple act of hammer to nail meant the world to the Sergeant, knowing future generations of his family will enjoy the deck when he's gone.

"This is the first thing that's ever happened associated with being in the military and Vietnam," said Guidi.

Bob says even though he may only get to enjoy the deck for a short time, feeling appreciated for the first time in 40 years makes his service to our country worth it.