Volunteer workers build ramp to aid Woodhull veteran

Leland Peterson gets a push from his wife Harriett up a ramp built at the Peterson home by volunteer workers recently.

In time for the holiday season, Sears launched its Heroes at Home for the Holiday program teaming with Rebuilding Together to assist veterans who are in need of a wheelchair accessibility ramp for their home.

In Woodhull, Harriet Peterson's husband Leland has been dealing with walking difficulties and is in a wheelchair; a ramp was needed for him to gain access to and from his home.

He came home from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, thanks to the wheelchair accessibility ramp built by a group of ambitious carpenters and volunteers.

Neighbor Gary Johnson, who helped at the site, said it was a great group of guys, some of whom were retired preachers, doctors, teachers and other retirees.

"The structure didn't require a building permit since it isn't considered permanent. The design was by an architect and the structure goes together much like a puzzle," Johnson said he was told.

Harriet Peterson learned of the project from a relative and she contacted Steve Durian of Geneseo of the Rebuilding Together program. The ramp was constructed through a grant from Sears.

"It was measured last week and some of the structure was constructed in Mr. Durian's shop, and along with equipment brought to the site, and all the workers, the task was completed," Mrs. Peterson said.

Peterson's son Jason lives in West Lafayette, Ind., and wanted information about the ramp and Harriet Peterson said Durian took the time to call the son and explain to him all about the project.

"This group has done 150 ramps in the area. They've been really busy and the ramp is really nice," Harriet said.

She said the group will remove the ramp when there is no longer a need for it.

Leland Peterson was in the National Guard 1960-1963 and in the Army Reserves three additional years.