Veteran comes home to a big surprise

ONALASKA, Wis. — Vietnam veteran Ron Bushman, Jr. has lived his life to help others. But thanks to a contest he didn’t enter himself in, he got some help he would never have asked for, but desperately needed.

“On the bottom of my essay, I did write that my dad is a very proud person. My dad has always worked for everything he’s ever owned,” said Bushman’s daughter Candida Bushman-Kinnear.

The Navy veteran’s roof was missing a majority of its shingles. But because he had both rotator cuffs and a knee replaced, he wasn’t able to fix it himself. So his daughters entered him in a contest for a new roof by veteran-owned First American Roofing & Siding.

“It was a real tear-jerker, the story that she wrote. So we’re pretty blessed to have a guy like that in our community and we’re thankful for him. We want to give all the glory to their family,” said Iraq veteran and First American Roofing & Siding owner Dallas Werner.


Bushman’s family wanted to make it a surprise. But in order to pull it off, they had to let mom in on the secret.

“My daughter came to my place of work one day and called me outside. And said, ‘You’re getting a new roof.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘We won a contest, you’ll have your roof, but don’t tell Dad,'” said Charlene Bushman.

The couple went out of town earlier this week to celebrate their anniversary, but what Bushman didn’t know is it was just a ploy to get him out of the house. And when he came back, his house looked a little different than when he left it.

“A lot of people think that kids don’t do things today like they used to in the old days. But I tell you what, my daughter’s heart is a whole lot bigger than anyone realizes. It’s there,” said Bushman.

“My dad’s given back to us when we didn’t have something. And this means a lot to us, to be able to give him back something that I personally can’t give him on my own,” said Candida.

And although Bushman may have enjoyed moving all over the country when he was in the Navy, he doesn’t plan on moving anywhere now.

“This is our home. This is where our children, our grandchildren, are and we’re not going anywhere. This is our house. And yeah, we’ll be here forever,” said Bushman.