VIDEO: Retired home builder, Navy sailor rebuilding homes for West veterans
POSTED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 12:11pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 12:15pm
CNN — The explosion in West, Texas killed 15 people and destroyed homes, businesses and other buildings within 37 blocks.
Months after the destruction, one man is taking the initiative to rebuild his community.
Dan Pokluda never thought he would be building houses again.
Especially at the age of 76, two years after he retired.
But, then again, few could imagine this would happen in West.
"These people here need a builder and I stepped up," said Pokluda.
When many of the homes he built over the years were torn down, Pokluda began to reconsider retirement, but it wasn't the buildings.
When his friend, Ross Bohannan, had to console his daughter after their home of 58 years was taken down, that was the moment Pokluda says he knew.
He had no other choice.
"You not only feel pain for the people, you feel it," said Pokluda.
So just days later, out came the blueprints
Pokluda would drive the first stake into the ground and within a few weeks, the foundation for a new beginning was taking shape.
Pokluda has already committed to building two more homes in West. He says he feels as if it's a part of the job he signed up for decades ago when he decided to join the United States Navy.
When your country calls you, you answer the call," said Pokluda.
Every one of the homes in West Pokulda is rebuilding is for a veteran.
84-year-old Nohannan served in the Navy.
The two are now apart of the town's Honor Guard.
"if you are a fellow veteran and needs help - you help them."
Bohannan's wife calls Pokluda their angel, but she worries Pokluda recently came down with a case of the shingles and doctors say as a result of stress.
But, don't expect him to take a day off -
"I'll be here every day," said Pokluda." I won't stop until my job as a fellow veteran is done."