Lodi resident and former Marine Steve Metcalf said he was ‘super-excited’ to have someone come to his home Friday and landscape his front yard.
“A lot of this was just a big surprise,” he said. “Everything looks amazing. It’s far beyond what I was expecting.”
Metcalf’s front and back yards were redesigned Friday by more than 70 volunteers courtesy of Home Depot as part of the Home Depot Foundation’s “Doing More For Vets” program.
Allan Heinl, manager of the Manteca Home Depot, said one of the company’s district managers nominated Metcalf for the program, an associate-led volunteer force that devotes more than 100,000 hours of community service building and repairing homes for those who have served.
Heinl, who led the yard rehabilitation project at Metcalf’s Louie Avenue home, said the foundation provided $13,000 for the work performed Friday.
That work included building a rock garden with drought-tolerant vegetation, as well as installing a flag pole and complimentary bench built by a Home Depot volunteer in the front yard.
Volunteers also built a side gate, a pergola, doghouse and tool shed in the back yard. The store also provided Metcalf and his family with patio furniture and a barbecue.
Heinl said 11 stores from South Sacramento to Turlock were at Metcalf’s house to perform the work.
“We just love to support our community, and especially our veterans,” he said.
Metcalf, who grew up around the corner from his current house, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1999 to 2007 as a combat support specialist, providing food and supplies to his fellow soldiers during battle.
When he left the service, he became a commercial diver inspecting underwater tanks and other facilities, and he and his wife Christina moved to the Bay Area.
When they realized they could no longer afford to live there, he said they moved to Lodi with their two children, ages 6 and 8. They’ve lived at their Louie Avenue home for about two and a half years, he said.
As a commercial diver, Metcalf said he travels frequently. His wife has not been able to do a lot of heavy lifting in recent years due to injuries suffered in a car accident, and coupled with the responsibility of two children, he said he has not been able to tackle yard work as much as he would like.
“Before this, the yard was just overgrown with brush and weeds,” he said. “There were bushes so sharp the thorns would go straight through your leather gloves. And the trees and bushes were just getting away from me. So having them come out here to help us out like this is just amazing.”
According to the Home Depot Foundation, more than $315 million has been given to veteran-related causes it sponsors across the country, providing services to more than 45,000 veterans since 2011.
Kristen Sumner, manager of the Lodi Home Depot store, said helping the community is what she loves about working for the company.
“It’s the way we give back, to both the community and our veterans,” she said. “To come out in support of the people who live in our district is a great feeling.”