June 15, 2023: the broken walkway of 90-year-old Korean War veteran Rito Alvarez, is inspected before work commences on repair by Round Lake Post 1170 and community volunteers.


Veterans rally to aid one of our own

Round Lake, IL

It was brought to our attention that a 90-year-old Korean War veteran was in need of assistance.
Rito Alvarez, (U.S. Army, 1952-1954) had moved in with his daughter, Aida Alvarez, and her family after leaving Texas after the passing of his wife. The family did what they could to make the transition as smooth as possible, but there was a problem with the driveway they didn't have the means or skills to address. The walkway between the house and the driveway was broken up and in rough shape. Mr. Alvarez had caught his foot several times but had not yet fallen. Concerned for her father's safety, Aida reached out to the Village of Round Lake Beach to ask for help. Village officials reached out to Officer Ed Pluvious, the Round Lake Beach Police community liaison officer. Having worked with the post recently at the Police "Bike Rodeo" event in June 2023, Pluvious contacted the adjutant of Round Lake American Legion Post 1170 and asked if we could help.
In three days' time, members of Post 1170 had inspected the work site, secured donations, rallied 15 volunteers and begun work to correct the situation. Working 10+ hour days, members and the community removed the old broken walkway, dug foundations and installed a new brick paver walkway, from the door to the street, over the next three days, June 17-19, 2023. The family - Aida, her husband and son - put in 25 hours of work, in all aspects of the project, and learned all they could.
The sand and gravel was donated by Lurvey Landscaping Materials, Volo, Ill.; the "Hollandstone" brick pavers by UNILOCK; and local trucking donated by Victor Hernandez of 2-3 Logistics, Inc., who provided the truck and labor to haul away the spoil from the new walkway foundation. Without these donations, and the willingness of local companies to come to the aid of this veteran, this work could not have been accomplished.,
Completed, the walkway offers Mr. Alvarez a safe and comfortable path to move into and out of his new residence, as well as a comfortable place to spend some time outside and enjoy the good weather. In their way of thanking the volunteers, the Alvarez family made a real Texas BBQ with all the fixings on the last day of work. It was fantastic! It was an awesome way to spend Father's Day weekend.

June 17, 2023: Volunteers hard at work making the walkway safe. Pictured from left to right, back row: Post 1170 Senior Vice Commander Ed Fuhrmann (Navy), Legionnaire Melonie Ricchetti (Navy), Isaiah Alvarez, grandson. Front row: Vicky Vongphakdy and her dad, Legionnaire John Vongphakdy (Army).

June 19, 2023: The completed new walkway from the door to the street. 135 volunteer hours, materials and labor donations adds up to a very thankful veteran. Pictured from left to right: Rito Alvarez, grandson Isaiah Alvarez, and daughter/homeowner Aida Alvarez.

June 17, 2023: Work continues on the Alvarez project. Members of Round Lake Post 1170, pictured from left to right are: Legionnaire Melonie Ricchetti (Navy), Senior Vice Commander Ed Fuhrmann (Navy) and Commander Steve Risley (USMC). Long, hot days of work, digging the foundation, performed to make a veteran's home safe with a new walkway.
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