PHOENIX — A local, veteran-owned air conditioning company installed a new unit for a Gold Star Family member, free of charge.
Mila Bordelon is a Gold Star spouse, who was prepared to go all summer with fans only to keep her home cool. Something that in the Valley's long, hot summers would be hard.
“I thought I was dreaming," she said when she was gifted an AC unit for nothing. This, after already spending $2,000 to try and fix her current AC unit.
“And until now, I can’t believe somebody would give me this huge, huge generous gift," she added. "This is expensive work.”
Typically, a new AC unit plus labor on a job like this cost about $7,000. Plus, it is an all-day affair. But for veteran-owned AZ Perfect Comfort in Phoenix, it is a small sacrifice.
“We have this great connection, with this great support group," said Robin McCombs, speaking for her and her husband, who own the company together. "And when we serve[d], those people were our brothers and sisters. And just because we are no longer active duty, doesn’t mean that they’re not still part of our family.”
Being a member of the Gold Star Family is a distinction given for a heartbreaking reason. It means you lost an immediate family member to war.
Bordelon lost her husband in Iraq in April 2005. His armor fighting vehicle was blown up and, while he managed to escape, he died from his injuries about two weeks later. It was Mother’s Day.
“And that’s May 10, 2005," Ms. Bordelon said.
After his death, Bordelon settled in the Valley, using resources from nearby Luke Air Force to better cope and start over.
A connection made there, along with a Facebook post, prompted AZ Perfect Comfort to act. Bordelon says she couldn’t be more thankful for all those who decide to help.
“I always pray to God: bless them, bless them," she said.