Rochester helps WWII vet tossed out of his dilapidated home

No matter what happens next, Jerold Young isn’t going to have a lot of money to live out his remaining years, but his Rochester, Minn., friends are certainly looking out for the World War II vet who’s had some tough times.

Last fall, the city ordered him out of his home because it was uninhabitable. He didn’t have the money to keep it up, and his health isn’t very good. He has cancer.

He lives with his niece in Owatonna now, but he was ordered to have the house torn down. But the Purple Heart recipient and Marine lost much of his savings; he was swindled out of them.

“I really appreciate everything everybody does because I’ve always done things for everybody else and I didn’t have to have them do for me,” Young told KAAL last fall. “Now it’s getting turned around and now I’m getting something to help.”

Last week, Rochester came through for the guy. Area veterans and contractors volunteered to take the house down, the Rochester Post Bulletin reported.

One contractor donated the equipment and people to demolish the home, a homebuilding firm hauled the debris to an energy plant, another construction firm gave the equipment and time to fill the hole left behind this week, and a real estate broker is donating the listing to sell the land, to raise some money for the vet, some of which will be used to pay for any discounted costs.

“Our community grows stronger when we help out the people who live in our community. If we just turn a blind eye to the people who live in our community, we’re not going to grow and be stronger for that,” Jean DeWitz, owner of DeWitz Home Builder, said.

“My dad served in World War II,” his son told KTTC. “The guys came back and never really said too much. These guys deserve a little help.”