A veteran was in complete shock when he returned home on Friday and saw people crowded together on his front lawn.
Moments later, Gene Schaefer was surprised with the gift of an exterior home makeover thanks to Randy Palmeri and Son Contracting, in Rockford, Illinois, WREX reported.
Loved ones came to witness the moment the Palmeri family gave the Schaefers the makeover after they got multiple entries as part of a giveaway.
“We’re honored to announce the winner of our home exterior giveaway – Rockford Veteran, Gene Schaefer!” Randy Palmeri & Son, Inc. said in a social media post, adding, “Thank you to all who made nominations and participated. Thank you Gene, for your service!”
Video footage showed the moment the veteran removed his blindfold and shook his head in disbelief while everyone clapped and cheered.
American flags and homemade signs decorated the lawn for the big reveal:[embedded content]
For many years, Gene and his wife have served veterans by driving them to medical appointments in Wisconsin because, “After my time in the service, I want to give back to other people and veterans,” Gene explained.
Another example of his generosity was when he won thousands of dollars and along with his daughter, made a trip to Walmart where they handed it out to people shopping.
As to the recent surprise, Gene, who served as a medic with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, was nominated several times by others and his daughter, Kristine Frank, was one of those people.
“I want them to like coming home and enjoy a new exterior and appreciate it and the Palmeri family is amazing,” she explained. “Veterans grab our hearts. I don’t know how else to say it.”
Meanwhile, a smiling and grateful Gene said the whole surprise was a shock, humbly adding, “I wish Randy would take it to some other veteran’s house.”
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