PARKVILLE — The phrase “do good and good will follow you” appears to be true after U.S. Army veteran and Parkville resident Rigoberto King-Levy was selected to receive a new roof from AROCON Roofing and Construction, as a part of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project on Nov. 22.
The project was initiated nationally by Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit organization with two programs, Veterans Aging In Place and The Veterans Home Ownership Program. These initiatives support Purple Heart Homes’s mission of providing housing solutions for disabled veterans.
Owens Corning Platinum Contractors, a national chain that works with local contractors, supplied the roofing materials and — for the first time — AROCON Roofing and Construction, a platinum contractor with the chain, provided the labor needed to grant King-Levy a new roof.
King-Levy, who is originally from Panama, emigrated to the U.S. in 1968. While roaming the streets of New York City, King-Levy decided his purpose in his new country.
At that time, the U.S. was active in the Vietnam War.
King-Levy thought, “I should go help them out.”
In 1971, King-Levy volunteered to join the U.S. Army. He wasn’t required to complete on-the-job training (OJT) because he received an extremely high score on the electrician level test after applying skills and knowledge he learned in Panama.
King-Levy thought he was going to straight into combat in Vietnam, but was shocked when he was sent to South Korea. He served there for one year. King-Levy was eventually sent to Vietnam to do heavy construction, and later worked at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas. It was there he was relieved in 1976.
After the military, King-Levy began courses to study architecture, but did not complete a degree. He chose instead to focus on the care of his family following the birth of his children.
He took on jobs working in many different labor intensive fields, which allowed him to pickup extensive home improvement knowledge. Soon enough, he was able to start his own business, after he noticed how expensive contractors were.
“I used to get really angry when I heard what contractors were charging for a job,” he said. “Thousands of dollars. I began to offer to do jobs for almost free, which made my name go around quickly.”
King-Levy supplied affordable home repairs for years, but then his vision began to grow weak. He would continue to work, usually for free, in an attempt to make up for his disability.
Eventually, however, King-Levy stopped doing home improvements.
The brave veteran believes that he his receiving a new roof because of the positive, gracious things he has done for other people.
“I believe that there are people in this world that still care about another person,” he said. “I thought I was the only one left.”
Eric Consuegra, co-owner of AROCON Roofing and Constructions says his company provided the roofing labor to express their gratitude to veterans for their service.
Consuegra, who served in the U.S. Army from 1991 to 1994, says he joined the military because he wasn’t interested in college and wanted to serve his country. He spent most of his service time at Fort Hood in Texas, and thinks it’s exciting to help out another veteran.
“It’s always really cool to give back to another veteran in need,” Consuegra said.