Spencer Solves It: Roof repairs for blind Vietnam veteran

HOUSTON – At 71 years old, Bob Lawson starts every day the same way, by raising the American flag in front of his Magnolia home.

“It’s my country. It’s what I love,” Lawson said while crying.

Lawson loves his country, alright. He risked his life fighting in the Vietnam War.

But now, decades later, Lawson is blind, can barely walk and has been living in a home severely damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Rain pours right through the many gaping holes in his badly, leaking roof.

“It’s a steady stream of water, like if you turned on the water faucet. It’s just pouring in on me during storms,” Lawson said.

The trouble is, living solely on his Social Security benefits, Lawson could not possibly afford the $10,000 cost of repairing his roof.

So with nowhere else to turn, Lawson contacted Spencer Solves It.

Within days, we brought in two loyal and generous members of Bill’s Brigade -- Lessman Roofing And Sheet Metal, and Spec Building Materials.

Both companies couldn’t wait to help Lawson out.

“I just think it’s incredible that somebody that gave so much for us, for our freedom, for our country, has to live this way,” Amber Cunningham, of Lessman Roofing And Sheet Metal, in Conroe, said.

Now the guys at Lessman begin the hard work of building Lawson an entirely new roofing system.

It's a roof that will not only keep him bone dry but also make his home much cooler during the summer.

First, they lay down the all-new, oriented strand board decking that makes up the wood substructure of the roof.

Next, the coolest part, Spec Building Materials donated 4,000 square feet of a brand-new type of thermal-plastic roofing material called thermoplastic olefin, or TPO.

The workers then spray down the liquid adhesive and lay down the state-of-the-art roofing material.

It’s all white and very strong and also appears seamless.

Now Lawson will never have to worry about the rain pouring through the roof above him again.

We had tried to fix his problems with just a repair, but that didn't work.

Replacing the entire roof was the only answer and Lawson is incredibly grateful.

“I want to thank Channel 2 and you (Bill Spencer), without you none of this would have been possible … would have happened and I appreciate it so much, you just don’t know how much,” Lawson said with tears streaming down his strong face.

We want to thank both Gene Lessman, at Lessman Roofing And Sheet Metal, and Chris Carmichael, at Spec Building Materials, for all of their hard work and generosity.

The total retail cost of this job is about $20,000, but of course, we were able to give all of this to Lawson absolutely free of cost.

If you need help with a problem you can’t possibly solve by yourself, contact Spencer Solves It at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or email us at solvesit@click2houston.com.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.