Local volunteers spruce grounds at veterans home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

RESERVE – Team Depot, the LaPlace Home Depot’s crew of volunteers, took advantage of the clear skies and sunny weather and took time to beautify the flag posts at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home on Sunday.
Rob Shuhart, Parker Lombard, Vince Miceli, Woody Woods and Dale Anderson took it upon themselves to initiate the landscaping project at the veterans home, adding a small rose garden, shrubs and annuals around the flag poles at the front entrance. Two of the participants, Anderson and Woods, are war vetrans themsevles.
“Our war veterans are near and dear to our heart at Home Depot. It’s something that we appreciate a lot from those guys, and it’s something that we can give back,” said Shuhart. “This was an idea that came out of a meeting about a month ago. We wanted to do something for our veterans and with spring, it’s a good way to show support and help these guys out.”
“This is kind of a full circle for me,” said Woods, a pastor at a New Orleans-area biker church. “I was the chaplain of the Forgotten Warriors Motorcycle Club, and I did the prayer of dedication the day we broke ground (here).” Woods is a Navy veteran and did two tours in Vietnam.
Parker said  Team Depot has plans for other projects as well. Next month, the group will upgrade the plumbing at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall Post 3337 in LaPlace to replace the pipes with ones that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The group will also work in the kitchen of the hall, replacing ceiling tiles and adding a fresh coat of paint. Parker said a display case for a Missing in Action project will also be made.
Parker said that Home Depot has dedicated more than $60 million to the community initiative and that the planting project came about when Shuhart noticed the lack of decorative plants while driving home from work.
“Ultimately, we’re doing it as a company. As far as this initiative that we have, we’ve dedicated over $60 million dollars to the veterans home to go and build ramps or do anything we can for the military just to say thank you for their service,” said Parker. “We planted the victory garden three years ago, and we built a pergola about two years ago, so this is kind of an ongoing thing. It doesn’t cost the store anything. It doesn’t cost the customer anything — it’s one of the better things about our company, that we’re allowed to do this type of stuff.”