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Veteran has a ramp, volunteer who built it now has a job

6:39 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Two weeks ago, we introduced you to Jack Halcomb.

He's veteran who was injured, wore knee braces, and could hardly get in and out of his home on his rickety stairs.

"I've had a few incidents where I fell off the stairs," said Halcomb.

Volunteers were building him a wheelchair ramp at this St. Johns County home. In a day -- the ramp was done.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful," he said.

And he's safer.

"It helps me be able to get up and down to where I can actually get inside my own home for a change instead of having to have three or four people help me up," Halcomb said.

That same day, we introduced you to William Harold Clemons.

Clemons was a volunteer building the ramp -- part of a special group.

"The Ex-Factor because we're ex employees who worked for the St. Johns Housing Partnership," Clemons said.

He used to get paid to do this work, but government cutbacks resulted in Clemons losing his job.

But seeing the need, Clemons continued to build -- as a volunteer.

"These people are really in need. I mean we're helping people get in and out of their house," Clemons said.

Someone with a company called Home Sweet Accessible Home -- saw this story two weeks ago, called up Clemons and offered him a job.

Clemons is thrilled.  But he'll continue to volunteer, building wheelchair ramps for those who don't have the money or ability to build them.

There is a waiting list of people like Halcomb who are trapped in their homes.

"I was staying inside, basically hiding away from the world," Halcomb said.

But now life is different -- he even has chairs on his ramp.

"I come outside everyday! I come out before the sun comes up. I watch the sunrise and I never did that before. I watch the sunset," Halcomb said.

And if more volunteers and donations come in, Halcomb knows that many others like him can get a new life too.

"I appreciate you getting the information out to everyone out there, to those who went above and beyond the call of duty," Halcomb said.

First Coast News

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