Phoenix area students and groups help repair the home of Navy veteran's widow

A Navy veteran's widow got some help on Feb. 4 from a group of high school students and several organizations.

"They called me at home and said 'sergeant, we have a house out here that's in deplorable condition, and we need help,'" said Jeff Turney.

From that point on, help arrived for the 83-year-old widow.

Glendale Police were called to her home, when her husband passed away. Turney, who is now retired from the Glendale Police Department, got in touch with Operation Enduring Gratitude, and with the help of that organization, as well as students from Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC), the home is being completely refurbished.

On Feb. 4, students were doing much needed masonry work.

"We're using a crawl walk run routine," said Operation Enduring Gratitude instructor Charlie Ellis. "So I teach them in the classroom, the formal teaching. Then we take them into the laboratory and apply it there, and then I move them out to the field, which is the application of what they're learning. So the mindset is when our students graduate, we want them to have some kind of experience."

Ellis, who founded Operation Enduring Gratitude, says the home will also be getting new windows, as well as a new air conditioning unit.

Ximena, who is a student at West-MEC, says she loves to get hands-on learning all while helping someone in need.

"It feels good," said Ximena. "It's helping the community, and it's helping me to be a better person."

The home should be wrapped up in a few months, and then the homeowner will move back in.

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