For quite a while, Gary “Chops” Polk has been making his home inside a small trailer in La Follette, Tennessee.
Community members told WBIR he has always put his country and neighbors first.
“He took sacrifice to another level and put his own needs aside so that others in his community don’t go hungry,” the outlet said.
Now, multiple volunteers are stepping up to build a home for the veteran who has shown so much love for those around him.
“Now that he is not serving, he’s still giving himself up,” Jeff Vincent, a volunteer who is helping with the project, said.
Approximately one year ago, landowner Tonia Byrd offered Chops some land with room to live on it.
“He needed a place to go, and I’m like he can stay here as long as he needs to,” Byrd explained. “He’s always got a place here.”
“He’s just the happiest, most jolly human,” she added.
From a small camper to a solid structure, helpers from the American Red Nation have gotten to work to give the veteran a sustainable place to call his own.
“He can go work on his farmland and come home to a kitchen table, come home to a recliner, go to bed in a warm bed with a big fluffy blanket and some pillows,” Vincent commented, noting that when Chops learned about the project, he was overcome with joy.
“It did my heart good to hear the joy and love that he was feeling,” Vincent continued.
Video footage showed the community cutting plywood and painting the house.
“Hopefully, we will be able to get him a home that he can walk through the front door and take a deep breath and kind of relax a little bit,” Vincent stated, adding he hopes it will be completed by next week.