Making a difference for a local hero

Chuck Moyar stood in his driveway, took a look at everything going on around him, and smiled. Then he took a deep breath, and it truly looked like the tough, rugged Vietnam veteran was getting emotional.

"These people coming here, the volunteers, the Steelers, 84 Lumber, I can't thank them enough," said Moyar. "It gets you misty eyed that people do this. I have seen it happen, but never thought it would happen to me. Having all of these people out here, it makes me cry. It makes me know the veterans are thought of."

What all those volunteers were doing was making much needed repairs on Moyar's Canonsburg home as a part of Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh,  an organization that repairs and renovates homes of those in need.

The Steelers and84 Lumber teamed with the organization, with 84 Lumber not only providing volunteers but also supplies used for the improvements.

"It's great to have the partnership with the Steelers and be able to give back to the community," said Jim Krejci, director of marketing for 84 Lumber. "We are a family company founded here in Pittsburgh, this is our hometown. In order to have a healthy business, you have to have a healthy community. Pittsburgh has been a great area for us, where we started. To be able to give back means a great deal to us. This goes beyond business. It helps people out. The fact that it is a veteran makes it that much more special. It's great to be able to help people out who might not be able to do it."

Among the volunteers who were lending a hand were former Steelers Randy Grossman, Gerry Mullins, Edmund Nelson and Andy Russell.

"It's an amazing experience to watch people who out of the goodness of their heart come out and give of their day to people who might not be able to get this work done," said Steve Hellner-Burris, executive director of  Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. "Our volunteers make a world of difference. The Steelers have been with us throughout the years and want to make a difference. What a great opportunity for them to connect to the community. We know they care deeply. They show how much they appreciate the fans and they are coming out to give their time and energy to make a difference in the lives of folks who need their help."

The players dug right in, from climbing on the roof to make needed repairs to painting both inside and outside the house.

"My dad and brother are veterans, and my dad is a Vietnam veteran, so I know when these guys need help you need to get out there and do it," said Nelson. "I am there. Chuck is very thankful, he is a humble guy. You know he can't do it himself."

Helping out had special meaning for Russell as he too is a military veteran, serving in the Army in 1964-65.

"It's important to give back to the community," said Russell. "I also want to support all of those who fought in Vietnam. We respect what they did fighting for freedom. Here is a gentleman who was in Vietnam two times. He was in the jungles, fought on the front line. Like he says, he is lucky to be alive. I feel good I can do any little thing, even if it is just some painting."

The players all joked about their lack of talent doing the home repairs, but it didn't hold them back at all.

"We want to support our troops," said Mullins, whose wife Joan also helped. "People in Pittsburgh have always been great to my family and I like to be able to give back. The troops today get more support than the vets from Vietnam. It's extra special you can help one out. I am sure he appreciates it a lot more than people think."

Moyar, who enlisted in the Marine Corps while still in high school and was with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in Vietnam, earned two purple hearts after twice being injured in battle.

"This shows the Vietnam veteran is not forgotten," said Moyar. "It's so impressive. I can't find the words for it. I am glad it is happening. It's very special for me. It's a dream come true."

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