Gulfport Seabees aid one of their own

An elderly Jackson County couple needed help putting a new roof on their home. Seabees stationed in Gulfport have come to their aid, and for a very personal reason.

Wood has to be sawed to precision measurements. Sheet metal has to be cut to fit the smallest spaces. Then the Seabees head up to higher ground, to put it all the materials in place.

Inside their home, Leon and Shirley Giafaglione sit and count the moments till they have a new roof over their heads. Shirley is very thankful.

"It's wonderful is what it is. We're so grateful," Shirley said. "We didn't realize that they did do things for individuals. But I called just to see and they said, 'Yes.'"

When this Seabee construction project was first proposed, little did any of them know that the homeowner was also a Seabee, and a World War II veteran.

"Once we found out that it was a Seabee, and we talked to him and found out a lot about his history, and the type of stuff that he's done, especially the work he's done with the house, we were very, very excited and really wanted to help him out," Seabee Johnny Hawkins explained.

The work is hard, and everything has to be just right. In 90 degree plus heat, these Seabees take regular breaks and do their best to cool down.

This job is also good practice for a unit that builds things for a living. Seabee Susan Morris is helping on the project.

"I definitely get to use a lot of technical skills, get to cut and measuring, just basic builder skills," Morris said. "It helps when we go on deployment because it's good practice."

Back inside, Shirley's motherly instincts take over.

"I've enjoyed cooking for them. I've got two pounds of red beans cooking for them right now and we've had a great time and they are just terrific."

The new roof will also be terrific, and will last the Giafagliones for years to come. The Seabees should have the new roof in place by Friday evening.

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