Veteran's Widow Gets a Home Makeover

CBS 58—An Army veteran’s widow got a complete home makeover, thanks to volunteers from across the community.

Associates at The Home Depot in Mukwonago met Joe and Barb Saladin in 2015, when they needed help fixing a tractor. When the manager of the store found out all the needs the couple had, he got a grant from The Home Depot Foundation to renovate the home.

“Joe did everything around the house,” Barb said. “Never had to have anybody come and repair anything.”

Barb says her husband, Joe, could fix anything. That is until 2014, when he was diagnosed with cancer. As he got sicker, the repairs needed at the Saladin home piled up.

“I just felt sorry for him,” Barb said. “He was always in pain.”

In his final days, in typical Joe fashion, he wanted to find a way to fix things.

“He said my biggest fear is that I'm gonna pass away and leave Barb with all of this to handle on her own,” said Jeff Boss, manager at The Home Depot in Mukwonago.

Boss made a promise to the Army veteran.

“I was honestly able to look him in the eye say, don't worry about it, we got you covered,” Boss said.

So this week Dozens of volunteers from Home Depots across the Midwest renovated the entire home, including new floors, a roof, a deck and even new appliances.

“It is giving back and it is rewarding and especially with it all being volunteer labor,” Boss said.

Several local business donated materials to help with the project, and Country Springs in Pewaukee gave Barb a place to stay during the construction.

Real happy, I know he would be,” Barb said. “I wish he could see it.”

It's been 9 months, since Barb said goodbye to Joe, and while she says her broken heart can't be fixed, kindness can fill the cracks.

“It makes things easier for me, like he wanted it to be,” Barb said.

Boss says all winter, associates from The Home Depot shoveled snow 

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