Korean War veteran's widow receives new roof for Whittier home

It has been a difficult journey for Mary Jean Berling since she lost her husband of nearly 55 years, but a program helping veterans and their families with roof replacement is turning things around.
WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- It has been a difficult journey for Mary Jean Berling since she lost her husband of nearly 55 years, but a program helping veterans and their families with roof replacement is helping turn things around.

William Berling was an Army veteran who served in the Korean War. He lost his battle against Alzheimer's in 2017.

"It was very sad because he had been sick for a long time," Mary Jean Berling said.

The veteran's wife said he enjoyed helping his community, volunteering with the sheriff's department after retirement - always fixing things around the neighborhood.

"Oh, he would be so proud that we're having this done. He was such a go-getter for getting things done, you know, around the house and for other people," Berling said.

The community is now giving back to Berling's widow.

She said her roof was leaking and she couldn't afford to fix it. Money is tight and she's still healing from a broken back in 2019.

The Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and Certified Roofing Specialists to replace it.

Rolando Noriega, an area sales manager with the project, said the goal is to give back to veterans and their families.

"Oh, its been great. We've donated over 200 projects across the country. We partner with Habitat for Humanity and our local contractors in the area and the community loves it," Noriega said.

Berling called it, "unbelievable," adding, "We're just elated. We really needed the help."
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