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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A 94 year old World War II veteran in need is getting help thanks to many of our generous CBS4 viewers.
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Leo McLarney was a first class corporal who served in Pearl Harbor.
The roof of the house he built in Cutler Bay was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma almost two years ago. At that time, a crew was repairing the areas with blue tarpaulins. They were supposed to be a temporary solution, but he never got a permanent solution.
His daughter, Regina McLarney-Crowley, said they didn’t have the money to replace the room and fought for help just to fix the problem. The money McLarney has goes to his 24-hour caretaker.
In the days since CBS4’s exclusive story of his plight aired, online donations to CBS4’s neighbors have arrived and the first steps have been taken to give this proud veteran a brand new roof.
“I’m overwhelmed and I’m used to juggling a lot of plates, but oh my god, the pour was tremendous,” said McLarney-Crowley.
She added that so many people wanted to help that she couldn’t follow the emails. In the meantime, McLarney couldn’t keep all the attention.
When asked how he feels about the community’s reaction, McLarney said, “I feel like a million dollars!”
McLarney-Crowley felt that after 6 years of service in his country, it was time for people to put their father in service.
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“I know from experience what it is like to live with someone who was affected so many years ago and still bears the scars of war,” said McLarney-Crowley.
In addition, the Irma Long Term Recovery Agency in Miami-Dade has hired a case manager to assess what other requirements are being made and what resources are available. There is concern that since the roof has been leaking for years, other problems will arise and mold remediation may be required.
The case managers in charge aren’t sure how long it will take as it is contractors and approvals.
They started the mold assessment on Friday. A crew will come on Saturday and reschedule the roof for free.
The only concern now is whether or not McLarney will let the crews do their job.
“There’s no one who can do it like him, so no one can,” laughed McLarney-Crowley. “He still wants to go in there and tell you how to do it [and] he still commands the job! “
When asked if he would watch, McLarney nodded.
“Especially in my garage with all my tools. They’re disappearing quickly! “joked McLarney.
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If you’d like to help, go to Neighbors 4 Neighbors and select “Other” in the “Description” field and “Veteran Leo” in the “Dedication” field. All credit cards are accepted. Donations are tax deductible.