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Dunbarton veteran receives special gift as home gets roof, siding

  • Homeowners Jamie (left) and Jim Hill walk around their Dunbarton home with Sentry Roofing general manager TJ Howley (right) as sub-contractors continue working on the new siding and roof the company donated to the family on July 21, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Homeowners Jim and Jamie Hill watch as Sentry Roofing replaces the siding and roofing of their Dunbarton home on Friday. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Sub-contractors for Sentry Roofing install vinyl siding after finishing the roof donated by the company at the home of Jim and Jamie Hill in Dunbarton on Friday, July 21, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Sub-contractors for Sentry Roofing install vinyl siding after finishing the roof donated by the company at the home of Jim and Jamie Hill in Dunbarton on Friday, July 21, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Friday, July 21, 2017

A little under three years ago, Jim and Jamie Hill bought their home in Dunbarton, a town they had always loved.

But the quaint house, with old cedar siding and a sprawling yard out back, was in need of some repairs.

The Hills planned to replace the siding and a roof that had seen better days once Jim, an Army Corporal, returned from a tour in Afghanistan.

Friday, the changes the Hills had envisioned became a reality as workers from Sentry Roofing, a Dunbarton company, transformed the home in the span of 24 hours, replacing the siding and roof.

Sentry Roofing completed the upgrades free of charge after hearing Jim had suffered a herniated disk and compression injury in his back while training for deployment about a year ago.

“I was in full kit, which is a vest, plates, everything that goes with your military stuff,” Jim said. “I was in the back of a truck that went off the side of the road.”

The injury prevented Jim from continuing his service and has had long-lasting effects on his health.

“Every day is kind of a struggle because I’m always in pain,” he said. “Sometimes it just slows me down when I want to play with the kids, it definitely takes its toll.”

Jim said the recovery process has been made all the more difficult because he has been unable to get assistance from the VA due to a lengthy claims process.

“We have insurance but the rest is paid out of pocket,” he said. “I still haven’t received any medical care from (the VA) whatsoever.”

Jim’s injury came around the time the Hills were planning on doing renovations to their home in Dunbarton.

“Prior to Jim deploying, we knew that we needed to do some updates around our house when we first purchased it,” Jamie said. “We were going to use the money from when Jim was away deployed to pay for it ... he got injured and we didn’t have that money.”

Even before Jim’s injury, plans had been in the works to help with the repairs on the house.

TJ Howley, the general manager of Sentry Roofing, said they had considered helping out the family when they first came in for an estimate.

“We kind of had thoughts about how we could help him, and then he got injured and it all got delayed,” he said. “It’s just something we’ve got to do for the family.”

Howley said the company was compelled to help the family out of a sense of community.

“Dunbarton is a small town and Sentry has been here for a long time,” he said. “You have to take care of your neighbors, you have to take care of the community and people that need a hand at different times. This is a way we can give back and it’s important to us.”

The transformation of the Hill’s home went off without a hitch as workers added new roofing and vinyl siding throughout the afternoon.

Jim said he was blown away by the work.

“I’m like a little kid on Christmas,” he said. “It’s awesome.”

(Lucas Masin-Moyer can be reached at lmasinmoyer@cmonitor.com or 369-3306.)