Legionnaires build safe walkway for Korean War veteran

Legionnaires build safe walkway for Korean War veteran

It was brought to the attention of American Legion Post 1170 members in Round Lake, Ill, that a 90-year-old Korean War veteran was in need of assistance.

Rito Alvarez, who served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954, moved from Texas to Round Lake to live with his daughter, Aida, and her family following the passing of his wife. “The family did what they could to make the transition as smooth as possible, but there was a problem with the driveway they didn't have the means or skills to address,” said Post 1170 Gregory Corcoran.

Corcoran said the walkway between the house and the driveway was in disrepair. Concerned for her father's safety, Aida reached out last June to the Village of Round Lake Beach for help. Village of Round Lake officials then reached out to Officer Ed Pluvious, the Round Lake Beach Police community liaison officer, who worked with Corcoran at the Police Bike Rodeo event in June to see if Post 1170 could provide the needed repairs to the driveway.

In three days, “members of Post 1170 inspected the work site, secured donations, rallied 15 volunteers and begun work to correct the situation,” Corcoran said. Working 10-plus hour days, Legion Family and community members, Aida, her husband and son, removed the broken walkway, dug foundations and installed a new brick paver walkway from the front door of the house to the street. 

The sand and gravel was donated by Lurvey Landscaping Materials, the brick pavers by UNILOCK, and a truck for hauling materials was donated by Victor Hernandez of 2-3 Logistics, Inc. “Without these donations, and the willingness of local companies to come to the aid of this veteran, this work could not have been accomplished,” Corcoran said.

Now completed, “the walkway offers Mr. Alvarez a safe and comfortable path to move into and out of his new residence, as well as a comfortable place to spend some time outside and enjoy the good weather. In their way of thanking the volunteers, the Alvarez family made a real Texas BBQ with all the fixings on the last day of work. It was fantastic! It was an awesome way to spend Father's Day weekend.”