MUKWONAGO - A $100,000 home makeover is a final salute to a Wisconsin veteran. It's a final wish he made during a trip to his local Home Depot store in Mukwonago. Those employees are making it a reality this week.
It's part of a nationwide effort from Hope Depot, aimed at improving the lives of veterans, one home improvement project at a time.
Outside of the couple's home on Lake Street Tuesday, volunteers were busy bringing things inside and outside.
"It's a mess right now, but it's gonna be very nice once we're all said and done," said Jeff Boss, store manager at the Mukwonago Home Depot.
Volunteers helped carpet and paint walls. Home Depot already put on a new roof, central air, and leaf guards on the gutters.
"Took down all the lighting fixtures in here. The kitchen is gonna be totally redone as well," said Boss.
It's all at no charge to the homeowner.
"It's just, I'm just overwhelmed and I just can't wait 'til Friday," said Barbara Saladin, veteran's widow.
"And what better way is there for us to give back then repaying those who served and bought the freedom that we enjoy every day," said Boss.
Boss met Joe Saladin at Home Depot where Saladin was a regular customer.
"You know his time was limited, and he said, he looked at me and said, my biggest fear is I'm going leave Barb alone with all of this on her own," said Boss.
The couple met at a bakery in the 1950s.
"He was a wonderful man, wonderful," said Barbara Saladin.
And he was handy around the house.
Barb tells us Joe constructed a basement bathroom. It's one of the few rooms that will be left untouched.
The two-bedroom ranch was a lot for the couple in their 70s to keep up with, especially after Saladin got cancer.
"And he had such pain with it, they thought with those treatments that it would shrink it and that he would get rid of the pain, but it didn't," said Barbara Saladin.
Barb's spending the next couple of nights out of her home at a local hotel. Volunteers can't wait to see her face when she returns Friday to her new home.