Vietnam Veteran Gets Post-Memorial Day Surprise

Jun 06, 2018
Supplied Photo

Alan Legacki could not believe what he saw when he was handed what looked like a bill for a recent roof replacement job on his Barnegat Township home. The statement simply said, “Paid: no charge.”

Mike Rank, owner of a local roofing company, took this action as a way of “paying it forward” to a military person deserving of his kindness. He had learned that Legacki was a Purple Heart Army veteran who was thinking about replacing his roof. 

With that thought in mind, Rank called upon Mayor Frank Caputo and asked if he would help assist in surprising Legacki with a new roof. 

“This was Mike’s way of saying thank you for serving our great country,” said Caputo.

When asked about his generosity, Rank said, “My family members had served in the military, and I would like to express my appreciation to the men and women who serve this country and keep us free.”

On May 29, the day after Memorial Day, Rank along with others surprised Legacki at his Heritage Bay home when he learned the job was, so to speak, on the house.

“I’m overwhelmed with this generous act of thoughtfulness, thank you,” said Legacki, who served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969.

He also thanked Jim Blachewicz of Universal Supply for donating the materials needed to perform the work.

“This is a great act of community pride that has been demonstrated today,” said Caputo. “Mike may not be a Purple Heart veteran but is certainly a true hero.”

Also in attendance was Commander Frank Healey of VFW Post No. 10092 in Barnegat, along with retired Marine John Dugan. Healey, who is also a Purple Heart recipient, said, “This act of gratitude was none other than a way of thanking a great war soldier for his service today.”  

“When I saw there was no charge, I couldn’t believe it,” said Legacki, a retired sales representative in the beer and soft drink industry. “I was speechless.”

“We’re so grateful,” said his wife, Jeanne Legacki. “It is so great to see someone supporting veterans in the community.”  —E.E.



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