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'We stand behind our veterans': Companies pitch in to replace Nash Central science teacher's roof

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LOUISBURG — Army veteran Frank Poyer said he didn’t serve 20 years as a chemical engineer for the benefits. He did it because he loved his country and wanted to give back. 

But Ridge Valley Exteriors, Owens Corning and Purple Heart Homes gave back to him in the form of a new roof Tuesday. 

“I didn’t join to get this kind of benefit, but I definitely appreciate it,” Poyer said. “It’s tremendous. I definitely needed a new roof.”

His roof was leaking, resulting in water inside his home as well as some mold problems, he said. 

Poyer’s wife was talking to his nephew, a wounded veteran, when she learned about the Purple Heart Homes program, which helps wounded and aging veterans. She completed the paperwork, and someone from Purple Heart Homes visited the Poyers last year. 

Purple Heart Homes reached out to the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, and the Poyers became the 200th family to receive a roof from the project.

“When we heard his story, we jumped and said, ‘We want to put a free roof on his home and really take care of him and his wife,’” said Derric Stull, CEO and president of Ridge Valley Exteriors. “Serving almost 20 years in the military takes a commitment not just from the individual, but from his children and his spouse. It also takes some sacrifice. You can’t just go to work in the military every day without sacrificing something.”

Ridge Valley Exteriors provided all the labor while Owens Corning provided the materials, Stull said. 

Typically, a new roof would cost $10,000 to $14,000. But Stull and his team don’t think about it in terms of dollars. 

“We look at it in terms of impact,” Stull said. “The Roof Deployment Project gave us an opportunity to leverage the global powerhouse of Owens Corning with the local community impact of a local contractor to take care of our veterans. ... The Lord put us in a position at the right time to really see a movement happen.”

While the government does a good job serving veterans, Stull said, it’s up to citizens to fill in the gaps. 

He and his wife are passionate about the community and programs like the Roof Deployment Project allow them to reach into the community and help, he said. 

“This is the core of who we are,” Stull said. “We stand behind our veterans.” 

After spending 20 years in the Army, Poyer retired to become a science teacher, a career he’s had for 20 years. He works at Nash Central High School. 

Poyer is from American Samoa and is one of more than 12 family members who served in the military, including two of his daughters. He served as a chemical engineer, including with several combat units. 

“My story is not that interesting. I served in the military and enjoyed it. If I could do it again, I would be there,” Poyer said.