Carrington Aviation Assists a Veteran in Need

May 19, 2018

When Kevin Robbins, director of maintenance at Carrington Aviation, heard that a pilot buddy, Joe Gamble, needed help, he got a crew together and, with about $6,000 in materials generously donated by Bruce and Rosemary Rose, renovated Joe’s 1950s-era bathroom in three long days of gutting and rebuilding.

There was a good reason for the re-do. Joe, an Army Vet now in his early 40s, has Multiple Sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. “His bathroom was in bad shape, and was so narrow that he couldn’t turn his wheelchair in there,” says Kevin. “He couldn’t get on and off the toilet, and was using a bucket to bathe himself.”

Now Joe has a roll-in shower, fresh sheetrock, new tile, grab bars, new flooring, and, says Kevin, “for the first time in three years, he can bathe alone without assistance.” (Previously, he was dependent on his 70-year-old mother.) Joe’s crew, which included his two brothers, also moved the washer and dryer upstairs to the main floor where they’re now fully accessible.

“Things like this that most of us take for granted make a big difference to somebody like Joe,” says Kevin. “Now he’s more self-sufficient. He’s a unique guy, but he’s got it tough, and this is something we could do to improve his quality of life.”

Kevin says he’s moved to take on projects like this after donating his time working on cars for military families during his years in the Air Force (he’s now retired). “Back then I couldn’t see a mother or father or anyone spending $300 to have a starter changed when I could do it in 15 minutes in exchange for a free meal,” he says. “When I got out of the military, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to do things like that for someone. Doing something for Joe Gamble, I could definitely get that sense of pride back. I called my brothers and fellow pilots, and they showed up to help. I bought ’em lunch. Doing the right thing is really cool. Hey, it’s humans coming together for a good purpose.”