LOWER SALFORD — When Dave Gardner called back after being notified that the roof of his home would be replaced free, his first question was, "Alright, how much is it really gonna cost me?" 

Nothing, he was assured. 

On September 11, workers from Rutter Roofing, of Malvern, did the work at Gardner's Scenic Drive home in Harleysville. 

Gardner received the roof after being chosen the winning entry in a Memorial Day campaign honoring a veteran by giving them a new roof, Jackie Blinebury, Rutter's director of business development, said. 

"It was a Facebook nomination campaign," Blinebury said. "You had to follow us on Facebook, share the post, and then make your nomination and tell us about it."

Gardner, who volunteered for the U.S. Army, rose to the rank of Platoon Sergeant in the Fourth Infantry Division during the Vietnam War.

"Due to his good instincts and awareness, Gardner often 'walked point' for short and long range reconnaissance missions. He also helped lead teams tasked with eliminating enemy patrols," a release provided by Rutter said.

Gardner, who is now retired, went on to a career with the Ellis Coffee Company of Philadelphia, where he became the first employee promoted from the service department to the sales team. 

Vietnam veterans feel underappreciated, but this helps, Gardner said.

He's grateful for the new roof and accepts it on behalf of all the veterans of all wars, he said.

"Somebody offered something, a reward," he said. 

Gardner said he didn't even know his name had been entered into the contest because his son, David, made the entry. 

His phone was broken and couldn't receive messages on the day the winner was announced, so he didn't initially get the word, he said.

His son let him know he had won, after which he bought a new phone and "was able to get the message and heard the good news," Gardner said.

Gardner, who said there's "no better place to live than Harleysville," said he moved there on Halloween in 1980.

"A roof is perhaps the most crucial component of keeping your home and belongings safe, but it's also a major investment that many people put off due to the cost," Blinebury said in the release. "This was a great opportunity for us to help someone who fought to protect our nation, and it makes all of us here feel proud to say we work for Rutter Roofing." 

The roof that was replaced was 23 years old, Gardner said. 

"The average life of a basic roof system is about 20 years," Blinebury said, as the work was getting underway. "There was a spot that had started to leak and the plywood underneath was weak and ready for replacement. We will be installing an Integrity Roof System with Landmark shingles from CertainTeed, so the Gardner family won't have to worry about their roof for a long time."

The roof donation to a veteran is part of an initiative by the company to give back to the community, Blinebury said. 

"It's part of our CSL pledge, which is Community, Service and Leadership," she said outside the Gardner home.

The initiative includes giving projects each quarter of the year, she said. 

During the first quarter, there was a March Madness event supporting Today is a Good Day, which helps families with babies born prematurely, she said. The second quarter was the Gardner roof and the third quarter will be co-hosting with Keller Williams Limerick a Texas Holdem tournament in November benefiting Alex's Lemonade Stand, she said.  

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