17 Local Veterans Help Build a Ramp & Deck for WWII Veteran
A team of seventeen local veterans and many community members came together to remedy two serious safety problems in the 37-year South Elgin home of WWII veteran, AMVETS Post 503 Commander COL Angelo Di Liberti, 93 years old. Angelo served his country through two commissions between the years 1944-1983. He has had significant roles in local veteran organizations in the U.S. and Canada.
A local St. Charles resident called the Veterans Center to donate a ramp which the team dismantled and reassembled at the Di Liberti home front entrance, an area where Angelo has suffered several falls. In the midst of harsh winter weather, American Legion Post 342 Sr. Vice Commander Jeff Meisner led the team with contractor Jason Kruse to modify and install the ramp and demo the badly aging rear deck, which is the home’s secondary fire exit.
With assistance from St. Charles Warrior Wishes, Bill Heaton, founder and WW Board member/South Elgin Police Commander Jim Creighton, the St Charles Veterans Center secured a generous grant from Home Depot, South Elgin and several cooperating Home Depot stores. Kruse redesigned a more senior-friendly flight of stairs and landings to ensure safe exit for Di Liberti.
Vanessa Bell-LaSota, Community Liaison for the four veteran posts of St Charles at the Veterans Center asserts that it was an inspiring sight to see our veterans working together applying their individual skills and experience to contribute to the project. The camaraderie and esprit de corps enjoyed by veterans who belong to organizations like the American Legion, VFW. AMVETS and Vietnam Veterans of America is an important opportunity for mutual support.
The team pursued their goal through a period of four rugged weeks and weather delays. Of Angelo’s seven daughters, Elgin residents Charity Di Liberti, (who baked pies to thank the team) and Susan Collins were on-hand to support their “Pops”. Angelo’s wife and Legion Auxiliary Secretary Patty Di Liberti made sure that there was plenty of coffee, doughnuts and lunch for the hard-working team.