When Darren Domingue, CEO of Lafayette Roofing, told US Army veteran Murry Johnson that the company would have replaced the damaged roof of his home in north Lafayette for free, Johnson was speechless.
“We knew Johnson was the right person for one of our annual free roof giveaways,” Domingue said as two of the workers, Ismael Gonzales and Giovanni Mendez, repaired the roof. “It means the world to us to be here with the Acadiana Veteran Alliance to help.”
Johnson served from 1987 to 1992. He was in the Persian Gulf in 1991 fighting the First Gulf War in Operation Desert Storm. He worked in the Army National Guard and was also part of the Military Police Corps. He now works in the private sector between Louisiana and Texas and lives with his wife in Lafayette.
The Free Roofs Giveaway is a Lafayette Roofing initiative to provide a free roof replacement to families in the medical field or specific people in need of assistance.
“During COVID-19, our focus was on supporting doctors, nurses and all those who serve in hospitals to fight the pandemic for us,” Domingue said. “This time we’re giving back to a veteran. Johnson is the kind of person who had to work hard to get everything in his life.”
The initiative co-partnered with the Acadiana Veteran Alliance, a non-profit organization that supports Acadiana-area veterans and veteran-owned businesses.
“To inform us of Johnson’s damaged roof was singer Marc Broussard, who happened to be a neighbor here,” said Millicent Nugent, AVA’s executive director. “As soon as we heard the story Broussard told us, we immediately did our part. We are still in hurricane season so housing is vital and everyone deserves a functioning roof over their heads.”
Demolition and replacement of the roof, which had gradually worn down in recent years and was heavily damaged by Hurricane Laura and Delta, began early Friday morning and continued into the evening. Lafayette Roofing also repaired the chimney and flat roof over the patio of the house.
“This isn’t just donating to someone without knowing exactly where your money is going,” Domingue said. “This is as real as the roof installed behind us. In Acadiana, this all becomes real.”