Marine veteran gets help with home repairs in North Wales

Katherine Scott Image
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Marine veteran gets help with home repairs in North Wales
Marine veteran gets help with home repairs in North Wales. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on November 28, 2018.

NORTH WALES, PA. (WPVI) -- A Marine Corps veteran and former Olympian in Montgomery County is getting the needed help for repairs at his home.

And when one non-profit that assists vets saw how much work needed to be done, they called others to help.

The roar of the chainsaw pierced the cold air outside this home in North Wales, volunteers making necessary repairs. Inside, 86-year-old Josh Culbreath, an Olympic bronze medalist, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

"They volunteered when they saw my house was crumbling," he said.

It all started when John Notte of Warrior Heart heard about Dr. Culbreath.

"When I come across an individual I feel exemplifies a warrior heart I go ahead and feature their story, get them a patch or a t-shirt, and I try to do something nice for them. Sometimes it turns into a really big project," said Notte.

Notte contacted Home Depot, which brought in Habitat for Humanity, and from there a number of groups have come to donate time and resources.

Habitat for Humanity Caleb Derby said, "We just replaced his roof, gave him a heater because his heat wasn't working, he had mold overgrown everywhere."

It's quite a story, for a man with quite a story. Dr. Culbreath grew up in Norristown down the street from Tommy Lasorda. He served in the Marine Corp from 1956 to 58 and won a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia while on active duty.

"I went through all my training that I normally would have done. I did want to be a Marine that had come there to become a runner. I was a Marine first of all," said Dr. Culbreath.

Dr. Culbreath was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, coached college track. He earned his Masters at Temple, and it was his work with special needs children that is perhaps the most meaningful to him.

"I love the underdog and I root for the underdog and I went with those who needed to help the most. My children learned how to read and write and they were told they would never learn to read or write," said Dr. Culbreath.

There are still some repairs to be done come springtime but most will be complete this week right in time for the holidays

For these volunteers, helping Dr. Culbreath is just one way to say thank you.

"There's a Navy Vet over there running the chain saw. I have a Vietnam Vet breaking gravel with me, and a lot of people chipping," said Notte.

For more information visit Awaken Your Warrior Heart.


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