CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local Cold War-era veteran simply can't keep up with keeping his house in tip-top shape anymore, so his sister-in-law reached out to Veterans in Focus for help.
For Troy Stump, it's been tough watching his family's home for the last six decades fall apart around him. Stump's family bought their house on Ormond Dr. in the Spring of 1963.
“About six months before the death of JFK,” he said.
Stump's mother died in 1981, leaving him the home, but as he moved into his mid 70s, Stump found taking care of the house to be increasingly difficult. Now 85, and living on Social Security, repairs are beyond his means.
“Before you know it, I didn’t have enough money to repair the roof, or replace it, or whatever,” he said.
Today, the roof shows signs of neglect on the outside.
Inside, the ceiling leaks in several rooms.
“I patched it up as much as I could,” Stump said. “I got a little too old, and I was afraid I'd fall off my house.”
Stump was a mortar operator in the U.S. Army from 1955-58. He was stationed at Fort Bliss, and in Korea. These days, he's basically alone, with only his brother's widow, Mildred, to look after him.
“Me and my son are the only ones who can check on him and help him out,” she said.
The roof is the biggest of Stump's worries, but not the only one. Mildred is concerned about Troy struggling up his steps because there are no railings. Also, the pipes under his kitchen sink corroded out long ago, so his sink drains into a bucket.
“It ain't been hooked up in about 10 years,” Troy said.
“He has to lift a bucket a water from under his sink, he has to take it outside and dump it,” Mildred said.
Like many veterans, Stump is proud and didn’t know his sister-in-law called us. Mildred doesn't want to see Troy have to go to a nursing home, but if they can't get the house patched up, there may not be a choice.