By Mike Steely
Navy veteran Boyd Armstrong sat on his front porch Friday morning and watched volunteers and workers assemble in his front yard. It was a special day for Armstrong as the Rebuilding Together Knoxville crew and members of the Fifth Third Bank set about renovating his Mascot home.
Seventy-seven-year-old Boyd and his daughter Teresa live in the modest home just off Rutledge Pike on Three Point Road. Boyd has suffered several strokes and had a heart bypass. His daughter has a brain tumor and both of the Armstrongs are on a fixed income and often require a wheelchair.
The Armstrongs were active as East Tennessee Honor Guards at more than 300 veteran funerals. He told The Focus they had lived there for 45 or 50 years and that he met his late wife, Jean, while serving in the navy. Boyd worked at Levi’s as a clothes packer and also for KUB in the gas service department. Income for the father and daughter is limited and Teresa has had several brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy over the past two decades.
Armstrong chatted with his neighbor, Nancy Bruner, as the Rebuilding Together crew began work. Bruner said she helps out, taking Teresa to Chemo treatment, helping them with shopping and banking.
“Sometimes I bring them something good to eat,” she said.
“She’s a good friend,” Armstrong said.
Rebuilding America is a national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing that provides extensive home rehabilitation. Fifth Third Bank’s Community & Economic Development department invests $10,000 in each project. Bank employees join with other community members to work sites to make repairs to veteran’s homes within the market that the bank serves.
Repairs and projects at the Armstrong home included a wheel chair ramp, a new kitchen and bathroom floors, installing railings around the front porch, painting and cleaning the exterior, ceiling and electrical repairs and other repairs.
Fifth Third Bank and Rebuilding Together were rehabilitating 17 homes of veterans on that day in several states. Last year they repaired 14 homes.
With the help of his CAC caseworker and the Office on Aging’s “Project LIVE” Boyd Armstrong’s case was presented to Rebuild Together. The rehab project recognizes Boyd and Teresa’s work with the Military Honor Guard.
Information on Rebuilding Together can be obtained at www.53.com/veterans.