New Roof, Home Improvements, Donated to Local Veteran


The LC Valley came together over the last few months to surprise a Clarkston veteran, who thought he was just doing a little home improvement.

Crews from Russell Construction finished a week's worth of roofing on Friday, in a moment Michael Stilson and his wife had been waiting for for around a year.

But there was a factor to the project they never expected.

A large crowd, gathered outside their Clarkston home, cheered as the Stilson's arrived home Friday afternoon.

Michael was nearly speechless, "''s just awesome."

For the last few months, family and friends have been keeping this surprise under wraps.

The Stilson's won't be paying a dime for their new roof.

The community came together to honor Lance Corporal Stilson of the United States Marines.

Karl Ziegler of Ziggy's says, "This is to one of our warriors, and this is to a family who sacrificed and gave so much, for our whole nation. So that makes it more special."

The whole project was started by family friend, Reuben Russell, who knew Michael deserved this thank you.

"Unfortunately he was blown up by an IED. Over 90% of his body was damaged," Reuben explains.

With partners from Owens Corning, Living Waters Landscaping, Ziggy's, and Stateline Continuous Gutters, not to mention numerous other community organizations, the roof, gutters, and some upcoming landscaping work were all donated.

Michael has remained humble about the whole experience. "There's a thousand guys that probably deserve this more than I do but I want to say thank you to them and that I'm very happy."

But this wasn't the only surprise of the day. "My wife and I are expecting our second baby, a little girl, this summer, so we'll probably put some of that [money] towards renovating her room for her," Michael says.

Reuben Russell says within their company, they've discussed making pay-it-forward events like this an annual tradition.

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