Home renovations recently completed for Hattiesburg Vietnam veteran

Renovations to the home of Vietnam Veteran Jasper Perry were recently finished to mark the completion of Operation Veteran Home Renovation in Hattiesburg.

With a line of service beginning with his grandfather (World War I) and father (World War II), Perry went on to serve in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Air Force (1963 – 1969) after attending college.

 “Before enlisting, I wanted to make sure that I received my education and that I’d have the option to continue upon my arrival home,” said Perry, who was wounded during Vietnam, which has resulted in paralysis.

Perry’s home is one of three veterans in Hattiesburg who has received home renovations through this collaborative partnership between the City of Hattiesburg, Purple Heart Homes, The First – a National Banking Association, R3SM, The Home Depot, the Greater Hattiesburg Home Builders Association and the National League of Cities. He received repairs to his bathroom and modifications were made to his walls for easier access from room to room – making his home handicap accessible.

 A project that began under Mayor Johnny Dupree's administration and continues under Mayor Toby Barker’s leadership, Hattiesburg is one of nine cities working with Purple Heart Homes and the National League of Cities as part of “Operation Veteran Home Renovation.” As part of this national campaign, communities provide repairs such as railings, ramps and grab bars to make sure the homes of veterans are safe and accessible. Volunteers also provide improvements such as painting and landscaping.

“As mayor, I have seen the impact that happens when our city comes together to help one another,” said Barker. “During the last two years, the work completed and made possible due to commitments made by so many have made meaningful improvements to the lives of those who have served our country. The homes of Mr. Perry, Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Holliman were just the beginning. We look forward to the place Purple Heart Homes will serve in our community.”

After two years of collaborations and more than $20,000 of collective investment by community partners, Purple Heart Homes held a community meeting on Wednesday to discuss a permanent operation through the formation of a local chapter.

These chapters are a collection of community leaders, organized as a volunteer organization, operating within the culture and guidelines of Purple Heart Homes to aid older veterans.

“The spirit of Purple Heart Homes is built on the belief that communities as a whole have an obligation to ensure veterans are cared for and served, the way they have served us,” said John Gallina, executive director and co-founder of Purple Heart Homes.