St. Johns County community thanks 90-year-old Army veteran for his service with new roof

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A local 90-year-old Army veteran is getting a big surprise -- a brand-new roof for his home in Hastings.

Paul Bass bought the home with his wife more than around 30 years ago.

“We spent the first two years working on the side,” Bass said.

His home has seen grandchildren and even great-grandchildren throughout the years and as the house gets older, it’s in need of more work and a new roof.

The shingles are over 15 years old and the wood is rotting.

“It’s going to be around $13,500. The price has gone up because of COVID. Everything’s gone up. But it doesn’t stop us,” Matthew Reiter, owner of Reiter Roofing, said.

It’s a cost that Bass just can’t afford.

That’s why Reiter Roofing was recently contacted by the Veterans Council of St. Johns County, a local nonprofit, to help fix his roof free of charge.

The roof needs to be completely replaced to prevent any more damage or leaks from happening.

“The more we dug into this, there’s a lot of rotten wood when we looked, so now we’re doing a tear off so it’s going to push into next week,” Reiter said.

First Coast Metal Roofing Supply is donating all the material for the job and Reiter and his crew are doing all the work.

“It’s the type of thing that has Bass feeling truly touched by his community’s generosity.

“I watched in the newspaper and on the TV all these things done for other people and I think how nice of them to do that. How nice and by golly, when it happens for me, it’s more than nice. It’s wonderful,” Bass said.

Reiter roofing tells Action News Jax they’ll likely start on the roof next Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the weather.

The company is always looking for donations so they can fix more roofs for free.

If you’re a veteran in St. Johns County in need of help, click here.