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Veteran found showering at Roane Co. church bathroom gets major surprise

Virgil is staying in a church member’s rental property until his new home is finished.
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:12 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:14 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Luminary United Methodist Church members are going to bat for a 75-year-old Vietnam War Veteran who lives in a decaying shack. A group of members dubbed the mission Love In Action ‘Project Virgil.’ The goal is to build Virgil a new home, but they needed the money to make it happen.

A small town of a little more than 3,000 people raised nearly $60,000 for Virgil in less than a month.

“We were just going by faith,” Bill Hughes, a project leader, said. “I’m a grown man, but I’ve cried because of this project. We just wanted it to happen.”

The group of 20 raised enough money to start building a 700 sq. ft. home on Virgil’s property. On Wednesday, H.L. Horne Construction demolished the home for free after hearing about the initiative.

Hughes said he and other church members were crushed to learn Virgil was depending on the church’s bathroom for a shower and lived in a home covered in waste.

Virgil is staying in a church member’s rental property until his new home is finished.

The group is still asking for help with landscape, installation and citing expert. To help, click here.

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