WWII veteran returns home to hero’s welcome after being vandalized

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by Brad Woodard / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 14 at 11:38 AM

HOUSTON -- It was a moment weeks in the making: 93-year-old Elbert Wood returned to his home that was rebuilt through the kindness of strangers.

“This is purely community effort, from the new grass to the new roof,” radio host Michael Berry told the crowd that gathered in northwest Houston.

They offered up a hero’s welcome for Wood, a decorated World War II veteran.

Tuesday’s homecoming was a stark contrast to when he returned home from a doctor’s appointment last month to find his home burglarized and vandalized.

Two brothers, ages 13 and 16, were arrested for the crime, but the community was so outraged it sprang into action and essentially rebuilt Wood’s home from floor to ceiling. What wasn’t replaced in his home was refurbished.

“We’re over $240,000,”said project manager Bert Harvey, “all of it donated. It’s a great thing. It’s a great thing.”

“He couldn’t believe that people were treating him this way,” said Wood’s son, Mark. “He just said he didn’t do anything to earn this.”

Wood said it’s remarkable something so good can come out of something so bad.

“If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t believe it,” said Wood, “and so many people have helped do it.”

Proof that it’s not just Marines who stick together.

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