PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Many people across the United States are using the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks as a day to give back to local men and women in uniform.

It may look like a little gardening, but planting shrubbery was just part of the mission at the Veteran’s Place housing complex Tuesday morning.

The bigger message was thanking the veterans and coming together as a community.

With a stroke of brush, the Veteran’s Place got a makeover today.

This Sept. 11, volunteers wanted to give back to those who have served our country.

“When I see all these young people volunteering their time, I know how the American people really feel. That’s important,” John Vogelsang said.

Vogelsang, a Marines veteran, is one of 48 veterans who live in the transitional housing at Veteran’s Place. Others receive daily benefits, like a hot meal and drug and alcohol classes.

Seeing people give up their time to help out, and just having a support system is needed and appreciated.

“When we came back, we were not welcome and now people are realizing that it’s a great thing that veterans do and are trying to show their appreciation in a lot of different ways,” Vogelsang said.

“This is a facility that’s home to a lot of our veterans. A little bit of work goes a long way,” Veteran’s Place Executive Director Jared Souder said.

Volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, Wesco Distribution and Valspar helped to install new cabinets at the housing center, paint the walls and add new plants and shrubs outdoors.

It’s part of a larger mission by Habitat this Sept. 11.

“This whole thing is about coming together as a community like we did 11 years ago and that strong sense in Pittsburgh of neighbors helping neighbors,” Jeremy Martin from Habitat for Humanity said.

When today is over and these volunteers head home, Souder said that these veterans call this place home and volunteering is always welcome.


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Heather Abraham