CHICOPEE, Mass. - Edward Platt served his country for four years in Afghanistan before an injury cut his time short. On Wednesday, Platt's community gave back to him through a veteran service project, giving the Chicopee resident a new roof.

What You Need To Know

  • Chicopee Veteran Edward Platt is getting a new roof for through a veteran service project

  • Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity and Owens Corning material company are collaborating on the project to make it happen

  • Edward Platt served four years as a combat veteran in Afghanistan before retiring early due to losing his leg.

"Being in active duty was amazing," Platt said. "I mean, I would go back in a heartbeat, even knowing that I lost my leg. Basically for me, the military has always been a blessing. I've always appreciated the service that came before me. The Vietnam veterans, the World War II ones, all the wars that have preceded mine."

The project is being run by Owens Corning material company along with Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. Executive Director Aimee Giroux said many veterans come back with physical or mental disabilities, so it's important they provide them safe and affordable housing. 

"They've given to us and so this is a way that we can help back," Giroux said. "And a lot of the veterans that we serve are either older or disabled or have had something happen, so it's great to be able to help them. We also do a lot of work with veterans as volunteers who come back and help support us through volunteering on the projects, so it's great to interact on multi-levels with the veteran community."

Platt said he's dealt with many physical and mental health challenges since returning home from combat, including PTSD. He said it can be tough for veterans to adjust to life once leaving combat, so it means a lot of have a community that supports those who served.

"When you sign up for the army, it's a job," Platt said. "You're not really thinking about getting hurt and people coming in and helping you out and doing stuff. It's a job and you signed up for it. You got hurt, it got cut short, 'cuz I wanted to be life-r. I wanted to do it for at least 20 years, and now we're here, and as a veteran like I said, even a handshake is appreciated."

Habitat for Humanity expects the new roof will be installed by the end of the week and will also make renovations to the doors and floors inside the home.