Soldier arrives to surprise home makeover after community pitches in to fix squatters’ mess

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In spite of the recent headlines regarding the poor treatment of veterans, a Florida soldier saw firsthand just how much his neighbors appreciate his service.

Michael Sharkey was first in the news in April when it was learned that squatters broke into his New Port Richey home after he was deployed to Afghanistan and defiantly refused to leave.

The squatters, Julio Ortiz and his girlfriend, were eventually forced out after community outrage came to bear, but the home was left a total mess.

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Enter an organization called Veteran’s Warriors.

The volunteer group collected thousands of dollars in donations from the community and local businesses and spent weeks renovating the home, according to WFLA-TV.

“We couldn’t let them come home to a mess,” said Lauren Price of Veteran Warriors.

Sharkey and his family returned home this week to the surprise of a lifetime.

“They did an outstanding job fixing it up and restoring it,” he told WFLA-TV. “More than I could ever imagined.”

“I’ve lived in this community for 30 years and I’ve never seen the community come together so much for one person,” Sharkey’s wife Danielle said. “I don’t even know most of these people, and they were there. They just came and helped.”

WFLA News Channel 8

Tom Tillison


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