“They changed my life 100%. We didn’t know what we were going to do.”
Bruce Fisher was motivated to join the military after witnessing 9/11 on the news in high school. He wanted to be a 52 Delta mechanic but couldn’t because he was color blind. He didn’t let that stop him. Instead, Bruce became a human resources specialist. His favorite part of his service was assisting others and living in new places like Arizona, Washington D.C., and Texas, sharing, “it was cool to be somewhere that needed help and be able to offer that help.”
Outside of his experience in the military, Bruce can be described as a friendly fisherman and family man. He’s lived in his current home for seven years after his family (wife Savannah and two young boys) moved closer to his wife’s parents. Now, it’s home. The whole Fisher family appreciates the bond they have with some of their neighbors turned friends. “We know everybody from one stop sign to the other.”
In fact, it was one of the Fishers’ neighbors who pushed Bruce to reach out to Purple Heart Homes for assistance when the 8-year US Army National Guard veteran was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first, Bruce applied only for roof repair. The roof was leaking over the backside of the house, near their water heater. However, when Purple Heart Homes inspected the Fisher home, the team realized the need surpassed the available resources. After the gas furnace exploded, the Fishers created temporary solutions for heating and cooling. The flooring in one bathroom was so soft, the parents feared falling through.
Purple Heart Homes moved swiftly to partner with Rebuild Upstate to complete additional home repairs. Then, Rebuild Upstate partnered with volunteers from Emmanuel’s Hammer to complete the home restoration projects needed to make the home safe and livable again. Repairs made by all teams include a new central heat and air conditioning system and ductwork, new plumbing throughout, a new roof, and upgrades to electrical, bathroom, and kitchen.
The Fishers are relieved by the repairs. They shared that when the water works like it’s supposed to, simple tasks like washing dishes and taking baths are no longer stressful. The temperature in their home is now comfortable due to the new heat and air system. “We feel safer going into the bathroom and not worrying about the floor or roof falling through. The kids love their bathtub. Their favorite thing is to take baths [and they couldn’t do that before the repairs.]”
Bruce went on to say, “Being a veteran, it’s good to see that somebody is helping the veterans. As far as Rebuild Upstate & Purple Heart Homes, when they say they’re going to do something, they get in there and get it done.”
In addition to home repairs, Upstate Warrior Solutions’ Anderson Community Action Board worked to connect the family with additional resources including assistance provided through United Way of Anderson County. Through collaboration, community leaders were able to ensure the family received funds for living expenses that the young children received Christmas presents.
Now, Bruce is back at work as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. He and Savannah are very grateful for the work done by the volunteers and the entire Anderson County community. With a safe, warm, and dry home, Bruce can look forward to other things, like seeing his kids grow up. His greatest goal is to see them graduate and do what they want to in life – just like he did.