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Retired seniors build ramp for Albany veteran

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 12:37 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In honor of Veterans Day, a group of retired senior volunteers built a ramp for a disabled veteran.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, along with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the SOWEGA Council on Aging team up to build ramps for those in need.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, ramp builders grab a hammer, some other tools and get to work.

Veteran James Hill, the ramp coordinator
Veteran James Hill, the ramp coordinator(WALB)

Veteran James Hill, who is the ramp coordinator, has been volunteering with the group for 20 years. The person they were helping this week is a retired Marine.

Volunteers building a ramp for a disabled veteran.
Volunteers building a ramp for a disabled veteran.(WALB)

“He had some medical issues that required he have a ramp to get out of his house. He has to call either his son to get him or the police department,” said Hill.

Hill said the ramp will also help the former Marine be safe in a time of emergency.

“If his house catches fire, he has no choice but to just crash off the porch,” explained Hill.

Ramp Builders is a group of about 14 volunteers
Ramp Builders is a group of about 14 volunteers(WALB)

The opportunity to help others has kept Hill building ramps for 20 years.

“It’s very gratifying. When we come and build a ramp and he goes down that ramp for the first time by himself, you can just see him light up like, ‘Oh, I can get out now,’” said Hill.

But Hill doesn’t do it alone.

“Most of these guys are retired as you can see. I’ve been around the world, I was in the Air Force, and I did a lot of other things, but working with these guys for the past 20 years, I’ve never met a better bunch of men,” Hill told WALB News 10.

This ramp is number 42 for this year. Hill said that’s lower than their normal average because of COVID-19.

“We were shut down. We couldn’t even go out, we’ve been averaging about 65 ramps per year in Albany,” explained Hill.

With a group of about 14 men, they said they’ll take more hands-on deck.

“If some of you local veterans want to come join us, bring your hammer!” said Hill.

If you need a ramp at your home, you can call the SOWEGA Council on Aging at 800-282-6612, to see if you qualify.

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