Topeka veteran receives life-changing help from neighbors

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A story of local neighbors helping neighbors is changing the life of a displaced veteran.

After her RV was damaged in Hurricane Harvey, Deborah Lamere was forced out of Texas and to Topeka so she could be close to the VA.

She also had to live in her home with water damage and no heat. Thanks to a few helping hands, all of that has changed.

When neighbors and friends from the Combat Air Museum in Topeka, a place she now volunteers, learned that Deborah only had a space heater for warmth, they knew they wanted to help.

“I went for like five days without a shower,” Lamere said. “And a couple of days without any running water before I could throw it out, and they said they wanted to do this.”

They fixed a hole in the roof of her RV and made insulation around the bottom so that the wind couldn’t get in. All of which has left her speechless.

“I really don’t have words cause I’m not used to that kind of community, except in the military. So it’s just…it’s hard to put words together,” Lamere said.

Her neighbor, Sheila, even surprised her with a ramp to help her get in and out of her home easier. And with disabilities, these small improvements mean everything.

“I have flipped back into like I said, a human being,” Deborah said. “I feel more normal. I feel more part of the world.”

Because of her neighbor’s generosity, Deborah has a new outlook on life. She plans to enroll at Washburn University next semester and pay it forward to others in need.

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