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Navy Veteran Gets New Porch, Paint by Creighton Knights of Columbus

Grant from Sears Heroes at Home program makes repairs to home of great grandmother.

Narrow doorways, an unstable front porch, a creaky wheelchair ramp and a water-damaged ceiling, make life a little more difficult for WWII Navy Veteran Jeanne Byers than it needs to be.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Creighton University Knights of Columbus will paint the inside and front porch of the house where Mrs. Byers and her late husband Benny raised seven children. Benny passed away in 2006.

The 86-year-old Mrs. Byers, who worked at the Norfolk Naval Hospital caring for wounded sailors and marines after their return from the European theater, is wheel chair-bound by Parkinsonís Disease. A grant from the Sears Heroes at Home program to Rebuilding Together will provide money to fix up the home of this mother of seven, grandmother of 23 and great- and great-great grandmother of more than 100.

She was a pharmacy mate in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from June 1943 through September 1946. She trained for duty at Hunter College in New York City and was stationed at the Naval base in Norfolk, Va., where she processed medical records and did the similar work a practical nurse would do today.

Additional work to be done by Rebuilding Together Omaha volunteers and contractors includes repair and replacement of the front porch and wheel chair ramp, as well as repair of the ceiling in the living room.

Rebuilding Together also makes sure the homeís electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are up to code and working appropriately. The League of Human Dignity will upgrade the bathroom after the porch and ramp are repaired. Brush Up Nebraska Paint-A-Thon will paint some areas of the homeís exterior. Local Sears employees will assist with repairs, providing manpower, tools and supplies.

Rebuilding Together Omaha serves senior and disabled citizens east of 52nd street in Omaha. Rebuilding Together Omaha is one of the more than 200 Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide. For more information please contact: Steve Cinnamon, 402-965-9201,, Deborah Trivitt, 402.598.7804, or

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.