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Local Veteran Receives Home Makeover

New home for Veteran

ERIN (WENY)--- Christmas came early for one local veteran.

Sergeant Robert Costley was honored Sunday for his service with a free home makeover thanks to the nationwide non-profit organization, Renovating Hope. It's an instance when we can serve those who serve our country.

War Veteran and Elmira native, Sgt. Robert Costley says, "This is my Christmas present there, the kids you know they'll have their Christmas present, but this is my Christmas present."

Iraq War Veteran, Robert Costley, is talking about his newly renovated home. Five weeks ago his Erin house, the one his wife grew up in, was in bad shape. Today, it looks completely different, thanks to the non-profit organization RenovatingHope and Home Depot. RenovatingHope was founded by Paul Hoffecker. He travels throughout the country, renovating homes for soldiers in need.

"Every time we've done one of these projects around the country from the time of despair when we meet them with their head down, these soldiers, their wives and their kids, from the time we leave, they are upright, they are grateful and they realize now they have a shot," said Hoffecker.

"I never imagined something like this was going to happen," said Robert. "When Paul called me I thought it would be some paint but nothing to this scale," said Robert.

Now, Robert's home is coated with fresh paint, two new decks, new doors and windows, siding, along with a new bath and kitchen.

It's been a difficult few years for Robert, his wife and his five children. He's still recovering after an improvised explosive device caused brain damage and physical injuries.

Paul says Justin Thomas, a Contractor for Home Depot, was his right hand man. Thomas thanked Paul for his service saying, "to your family and to you, from the Home Depot family of well over 3,000 associates, thank you for your service and your sacrifice."

Clinton Stratton, the Manager of the Ithaca Home Depot, had a major role in the project. "We have a lot of associates that are veterans and family of veterans so it really hits home when we are able to help out like this."

Robert says, "It's a big weight off of our shoulders, the house really needed a lot of help and now I don't have to worry about that. I can now concentrate on other things."

It's a christmas present too big to fit under the tree, and a chance for the community to serve those who serve our country.