- Corvaya Jeffries Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sergeant Fred Roach was at a loss for words when he arrived to his home with his family Thursday night. Only his wife Jenny was in on the little secret: that Florida Power & Light had transformed their three bedroom house into an energy-efficient winter wonderland by deploying a bucket truck and decorating with more than 1,000 energy-efficient LEDs and solar holiday lights.
For The Wounded Veterans Relief Fund of Lake Park, it was about thanking Roach for his service with something he and the most important people in his life would enjoy and benefit from.
“I’m just excited that people come together to do this kind of stuff because I didn’t really think it happened. I thought it was just something in movies,” Roach’s teenage daughter, Summer, said in an interview.
“Very rare!” her younger sister Audri added.
Roach wasn’t expecting a local organization, FPL and people from the community to put so much thought, effort and money into thanking him.
“To be honest with you, veterans like to be in the background. We did our service and we’re proud of what we’ve done,” he said after the unveiling.
Today, veterans are often recognized throughout the year, not just on Veteran’s Day.
Some, however, are forgotten.
“Veterans are part of the community. We made a decision to go serve. Some stay in. Some do a tour and go. But it’s all about service, community and sacrifice,” Roach said.
He served two tours in Afghanistan with the 82nd Army Airborne division. He’s now an Active Reservist and a nurse at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.
Tonight was a reminder that he returned to the right place to continue his life -- a city where he is welcomed and honored.
“It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. This is what the holidays are all about.”
More about Wounded Veterans Relief Fund: The fund provides immediate, temporary emergency financial assistance to disabled veterans who have served in wars and conflicts since 9/11. Financial support is provided for basic needs, including food, gas, mortgage, rent and utility payments, auto payments and repairs, transportation, wheelchair lifts, moving expenses, temporary or transitional housing and more. To donate, visit their website.