An energetic work gang from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Chetco River helped spruce up the homes of three lucky vets in the Brookings area on Veterans Day.
By the time the hard-working crew left, gutters were cleaned, bushes were trimmed, walls were power washed and yards were mowed — leaving the homes shipshape — including that of Coast Guard veteran Charles Fuller, 86.
“It’s fantastic,” Fuller said.
“It’s such a blessing,” his wife, Doris, added.
Fuller served in the Coast Guard during WWII on patrol boats in the Mediterranean Sea, from North Africa to the South of France. He was involved in the invasions of Cicely, Italy and France.
During that time, Fuller witnessed a liberty ship break in half, and, while serving in Texas, experienced a rollover during a fierce storm.
Today’s Coast Guard doesn’t look much like the one in which he served, Fuller said.
“It has changed immensely. They have all this technology,” he said.
The Veterans Day service project was a result of the efforts of Petty Officer Class Edward Kaava who organized the event.
“He’s been working on this for the last two or three months, finding people to help,” Chief Cheston Evans said.
The 20-member work team consisted of station personnel and the crew of one of the station’s motor lifeboats.
In addition to helping at the Fuller home, the group visited Vietnam War Army veteran Sam Vitale and a third, unnamed veteran, Kaava said.
The first time the coast guardsmen held a work party at a veteran’s home was two years ago. Last year, three veterans in Port Orford were the grateful recipients of the Chetco Station’s attention.
The annual event will continue each year on Veterans Day, Evans said, and may be expanded to include more days each year.