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House of Navy veteran's widow needed a major rebuild. A Valley organization and 200 volunteers stepped up to answer the call

After thousands of hours for a total rebuild, volunteers welcomed Gean LeVar to her new rebuilt home this week.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Just north of historic downtown Glendale sits an All-American house freshly colored in patriotic love. Flags border the front lawn and adorn the exterior of the small home.

It took 18 months of hard work to get to this point.

Close to 200 volunteers, including veterans, students and those connected to the veteran community put in thousands of hours for a total rebuild of the house built in the 1950s. A home that had fallen into disrepair.

“There are resources in place that help the majority of veterans but there are some that fall through the gap. This one fell through the gap,” Founder and CEO of Operation Enduring Gratitude Charlie Ellis said.

Ellis, an Army veteran, founded the nonprofit that helps with home repair and rebuilding for veterans and their families.

Gean LeVar’s husband, Thomas, served two years in the Navy as a payload specialist. He passed away in January of last year.

“He was always proud of his service,” said LeVar.

Now his home is ready to serve too. LeVar walked through the rebuilt house on Wednesday gleaming with a big smile. She said she can’t wait to cook in her new kitchen.

“Oh, I think it’s wonderful,” said LeVar.

“We’ve modernized the electrical. We’ve got showers she can walk into. Fantastic,” said Ellis. “People that love on our veteran community all here today. To share in the love. Their time. Their generosity.”

If you would like to learn more about Operation Enduring Gratitude, visit https://www.oegaz.org/.

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