Volunteers surprise Navy veteran with memorial garden

Volunteers surprise Navy veteran with memorial garden
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 12:49 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 12:54 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Navy veteran Alan Sullivan has had a difficult year. In recent months, he lost his 90-year-old mother and his wife of 55 years.

Thursday, on the eve of Veterans Day, volunteers surprised him with a backyard memorial garden honoring both women.

“Oh my God. That’s beautiful,” said Sullivan as he saw the garden for the first time. “Look a’ there.”

Sullivan is one of eight homeowners in Atlanta’s Westside whose homes are being repaired and revamped, thanks to volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation and HouseProud Atlanta. Three of those eight homeowners are U.S. Military veterans.

Sullivan had several home-repair projects on his property he’d been wanting to do.

“I was going to start a little piece at a time, one piece at a time to get it done,” he said.

But he didn’t have to. Home Depot associates tackled all of his projects. They painted the outside of Sullivan’s home, planted flowers in his flower beds, and built a new deck in his backyard.

“At Home Depot, we have a big commitment to veteran causes, but it isn’t just about writing a check,” said Home Depot CEO Ted Decker who joined his employees on the volunteer site. “We like to be out. We call these ‘Team Depot’ events. We love to be out with our associates, with our partners, in the community working with someone like Mr. Sullivan.”

“It’s a blessing from God for me, and I wish my wife was here to see it,” said Sullivan as he choked back tears. “I didn’t know that serving my country would give me great rewards like this, but I am very thankful.”