NewsHillsborough County


Operation Code Vet rallies local businesses to help veteran who lost home in fire

Vet loses everything
Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 18:47:33-05

BRANDON, Fla. — Air Force veteran Jerry Wooten and his wife lost their home in March of 2020 after a fire that spread from their neighbor’s home. The walls were still standing but most of the rest of the house was ruined by the fire.

"I lost virtually everything I had," said Wooten.

In fact, Wooten, who worked as a missionary in Honduras says only one thing was untouched.

"I had about $600 worth of Spanish bibles and commentaries and they came through unscathed," said Wooten.

Wooten could not afford to fix the damages.

That's when “Operation Code Vet” a non-profit program through Hillsborough County code enforcement stepped in to find local businesses to help.

"I explain we have a veteran here in Hillsborough County who has currently been cited for several code violations and we need to help this man," said Christine Zion-McCombs with Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.

Right now local companies are volunteering to help rebuild Wooten’s home.

"I don’t have words somethings there are no words fashioned to express feelings of such deep appreciation," said Wooten.

But they still need help.

"Right now, I still need a plumber and some windows and some drywall," said Zion-McCombs.

They're looking for volunteers to help rebuild a home and protect a veteran who served to protect us all

"This is a great way to give back to somebody that gave to us," said Zion-McCombs.

If you're interested in helping, contact Christine Zion-McCombs with Operation Code Vet at 813-743-8420.