Skip to content
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – September 20: Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley volunteers and Lowe’s employees work on the house of John Migeulgorry, 79, a Vietnam War veteran, on Sept. 20, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SAN JOSE — John Migeulgorry was not expecting a fresh coat of paint and a new air conditioner and water heater when Lowes and Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley partnered to renovate the Vietnam War veteran’s San Jose home on Tuesday.

“It’s unbelievable — and they’re all so nice. They’re very, very thoughtful and kind,” Migeulgorry said of the dozens of volunteers who helped, adding that he initially joked with the project organizers that it would take that many folks to complete the work his house needed before they assured him that’s exactly how many people would show up.

Migeulgorry, 79, grew up in the house in the 800 block of Sixth Street, which is now valued above $1 million. He said his parents moved in to the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house shortly after it was built in 1939 and that generations of Migeulgorry have lived in it since at least the late 1940s. He joined the Army in 1967, served in Vietnam in ’68 and returned home the following year.

“I’m at a loss for words. This is probably the best day of my life and the repairs that were made are more than I could ever imagine,” Miguelgorry said.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – September 20: Lowe’s employee Kimberly Montalvo, left, high-fives the homeowner John Migeulgorry, 79, a Vietnam War veteran, on Sept. 20, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group) 

The work on Migeulgorry’s home was one of three renovations the organizations agreed to complete for veterans across Santa Clara County on Tuesday — one more in San Jose and another in Morgan Hill. For Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, which has assisted county residents with no-cost home repairs since 1991, this is one of about 300 similar renovations the nonprofit will complete this year.

To Deanne Everton, executive director at Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, the work is about more than transforming Migeulgorry’s home into an asset for the community.

“Having a safe home is a right for everyone and being able to preserve that for a vulnerable group within our community is so important,” Everton said. “For John today, seeing the joy on his face and one of his quotes was, ‘I think this might be the best day of my life.’ So, not a bad day at work.”

  • SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - September 20: Lowe’s employees Kimberly Montalvo, left, and Ethan Lechich paint the house of John Migeulgorry, 79, a Vietnam War veteran, on Sept. 20, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - September 20: Lowe’s employee Buena Acevedo paints the house of ohn Migeulgorry, 79, a Vietnam War veteran, on Sept. 20, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

  • SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - September 20: Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley’s maintenance technician Abraham Lopez, center, paints the house of John Migeulgorry, 79, a Vietnam War veteran, on Sept. 20, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

of

Expand

The repairs completed Tuesday would have cost an estimated $90,000, but the labor and materials were donated by Lowe’s. They included exterior vinyl board and skirt replacements and landscaping, such as laying bark near plants to beautify Migeulgorry’s yard.

The three home renovations for Santa Clara County veterans are part of a national initiative by Lowe’s to support vets and their families this fall. The home improvement retailer donated $3.3 million to that effort, which funded the renovation of 79 homes nationwide.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.