(WACO, TEXAS – MARCH 10, 2009) Long after the din and roar of battles fought almost twenty years ago has gone silent, the challenges faced by many returning veterans echo in daily life. For U.S. Army combat medic and Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran Jeff Cooper, facing and overcoming these challenges both personally and as a family leader is a study in courage, faith and commitment.
Cooper returned from the early 1990’s Gulf War a highly decorated combat veteran. He also suffers from Gulf War Syndrome, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair. Working against the pain, Cooper serves his fellow veterans as a strong voice both for veterans and the rights of the disabled.
Cooper, whose son Aaron lost his right arm to an auto accident two years ago, remained positive and upbeat despite the many daunting challenges facing him individually and his family. However, the family home, a decaying trailer with bad electrical wiring, a sinking roof and a rotting ramp, simply could not provide the comfort and accessibility they needed.
That’s where a group of seven Mr. Electric franchise owners stepped in. Using supplies donated by Rexel, Schneider Electric, Eagle Electric, ECK Supply Company and lodging provided by Hampton Inn of Edenton, they are working with the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team to provide electrical services for the new custom- designed home the Cooper family will move into.
Participating Mr. Electric franchisees included:
Rick and Tammy Mercado, owners of Mr. Electric of N.E. North Carolina Swede Granger, owner of Mr. Electric of Elkton, MD
Aaron Scott, owner of Mr. Electric of Cumberland County, NC
Zane Gauldin, owner of Mr. Electric of The Piedmont, NC
John Mettle, owner of Mr. Electric of The Triad, NC
John Astoske, owner of Mr. Electric of Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, NC Steven Hartley, owner of Mr. Electric of Raleigh, NC
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non- competitive) and is in its sixth season on ABC. The show airs on Sundays (8 – 9 p.m. EST) on ABC.
“Work like this isn’t really work to us,” said Tammy Mercado, owner of the Mr. Electric of N.E. North Carolina franchise location. “When it’s a matter of serving the needs of a man like Jeff Cooper who is a hero to his nation and his family, it’s an honor for our team to be associated with this worthy endeavor. Compared to what this brave man and his family have endured and the inspiration they provide, the time and energy we spend here pales in comparison.”
“I know I echo the sentiments of every Mr. Electric franchise when I extend our sincerest best wishes and thanks to Jeff Cooper and his family,” said Jeff Meyers, president of Mr. Electric. “Helping the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team create a comfortable and accessible home is work that comes more from the heart than the hands. We’ll take care of the home’s electrical needs because we know we can count on the Cooper family to fill it with love and inspiration.”
When the Cooper family returns Friday, March 13, they’ll find a brand-new home waiting for them and a large group of new friends, including seven Mr. Electric franchises, anxious to welcome them home and share the joy of a job well done in recognition of lives well lived.
About Mr. Electric®:
Established in 1994, Mr. Electric is a global franchise organization providing electrical installation and repair services. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its “Franchise 500,” Mr. Electric franchisees provide these services to both residential and commercial customers at over 200 locations worldwide. Mr. Electric is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit mrelectric.com.