Dozens of volunteers and staffers from Missouri credit unions convened in Columbia over the weekend for what was described as an old fashioned, three day "barn raising" project to build a home for injured war vet Robert Canine as part of the "Homes for Our Troops" campaign.
Operating in shifts, CU executives turned out at the construction site in this mid-Missouri college town to offer their services to help a contractor erect the framework for the home for the Army staff sergeant who is in a wheelchair after suffering severe injuries in the Iraq war.
In remarks following a procession through town, Canine paid tribute to the Missouri Credit Union Association and CUs elsewhere "for making this happen."
"This is unbelievable and I want to thank everybody for coming," Canine told the CU group which was joined by state lawmakers including staffers representing U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R.Mo.).
Under a contract with the Massachusetts-based Homes for Our Troops charity, the MCUA has agreed to help raise $100,000 to build the Columbia home for Canine and is working on a second home for another injured vet.
At a ceremony Friday marking the weekend "Build Brigade," Canine was surprised by a visit by soldiers from his Fort Riley, Kan. unit who served as color guard with his commander, John Vermeesch addressing the crowd.