ALBANY – Ramp builders with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) spent their Veterans Day helping a local U.S. Marine Corps veteran. The volunteer ramp builders constructed an access ramp at the south Albany home of retired M Sgt Ronald Munson.
“We feel it’s important to help anyone who needs a ramp, but we’ve got to take care of our veterans,” Jim Hill, the RSVP ramp crew's coordinator, said in a news release. “We do (ramps for) vets throughout the year, but we always try to make sure we have one on Veterans Day.”
Munson is a decorated veteran of the Gulf War who was seriously injured in a car crash in May.
“It was bad,” said his wife, Earleen Munson.
Ronald Munson has been hospitalized since the wreck. He is scheduled to be released from the hospital and return home in early December, and he would not be able to get in and out of his house without a ramp.
“It’s just like a miracle that people would come out and do something for you at a time like this,” Earleen Munson said. “It’s wonderful, and I sure do appreciate it.”
The ramp crew builds ramps almost every week of the year. They only take a break during the heat of the summer and will occasionally reschedule work in the winter if the weather gets too cold. The team currently has 16 volunteer members. Eight of them served in the military themselves, so building a ramp for a fellow veteran holds special meaning for them.
“They put their time in. They did their service, so we’re happy to give back to them,” said Hill, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Earleen Munson said she felt an extra sense of pride and appreciation that the ramp builders chose to help her husband on Veterans Day.
“Words can’t explain it," she said. "They’re still serving their country, and I’m so thankful for them."
RSVP is a partnership between Phoebe and the SOWEGA Council on Aging. Over the last 20 years, the ramp crew has built more than 1,400 ramps in and around Albany at the homes of people with disabilities.