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Hoping to help a wounded soldier

Pair of Lodi mortgage brokers are raising cash to buy veteran a home

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:00 am

Many veterans have been severely injured during combat duty in Afghanistan or Iraq — and many of these injuries can make it difficult for them to maneuver around the house. Now you have a chance to help.

Two Downtown Lodi mortgage brokers are trying to raise $30,000 to qualify for a contribution from their corporate office to purchase a home in Lodi or Stockton for a disabled veteran.

Bill Anderson and Robert Ardelean are on a mission.

“We’re die-hard patriots,” Ardelean said. “We want to make sure we take care of our veterans. They sure take care of us.”

Called the Boot’n & Shoot’n Operation Home Giveaway, Anderson, Ardelean and their staff at Benchmark Mortgage are working with Lodi’s American Legion post to raise money and find a deserving disabled veteran. Anderson and Ardelean are branch managers of Lodi’s Benchmark Mortgage office.

The Lodi branch managers say their corporate office has given them a deal they can’t pass up. If Anderson and Ardelean can raise $30,000, the Texas-based corporate office will finance the remainder of the cost of the house, up to $150,000. They’ve already raised about $8,000 of the $30,000 they need.

“It’s been a pretty awesome opportunity for us,” Anderson said.

Once the home is purchased, volunteers will retrofit the house according to the wounded veteran’s needs, Anderson said.

The brokers raised some money at the Lodi Street Faire in May, and hope to do so again at the upcoming Street Faire on Oct. 6.

“We think it’s an awesome program, and I just hope we can get the public’s support, make the thing work,” said Bill Selling, a volunteer for the Lodi American Legion. “We’ll try to raise funds for them.”

Selling said he’s been looking for a disabled veteran from the Lodi area, but they haven’t located one yet.

“A wounded soldier and their family are dealing with so many issues already, like spending years in a hospital, countless surgeries and having their family displaced,” according to Benchmark’s website.

“A home provides a new chapter in all their lives. It helps in their recovery, allows them to have a better quality of life,” the website continues. “Having a home altered to accommodate one’s disabilities affords a wounded warrior ability to help in the home on things like cleaning dishes and doing laundry.”

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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