Veterans Helping Veterans
Pit Crew Roofing Assists Retired Army SergeantAngie Lewis, Writer
While flying a drone over a job site in Palm Bay, FL, Mickey Fields, project manager for Pit Crew Roofing, noticed a 173rd Airborne Brigade flag flying high on a neighboring home. When he looked closer, he also saw a Purple Heart license plate and a disabled veteran tag on a vehicle parked at the house.
Because his boss and Pit Crew Roofing owner Adam Cherup is a veteran, Fields wanted to meet the patriotic, heroic homeowner.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonny Langford was working on his four-wheeler when Fields approached and asked him about his service.
Being All He Could Be
Langford enlisted in the Army in 1997, fresh out of high school. In 2002, he left the service and he and his wife Kristina, whom he met when they were both stationed in Fort Eustis, VA, had their first child. However, when the invasion of Iraq began the following year, Langford re-enlisted.
“It was my calling,” he says.
In 2005, while deployed with 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, on a reconnaissance
surveillance mission in Baghdad, his unit was hit with a dismounted improvised explosive device (IED).
The bomb blew out one of his eardrums and gave him “the worst concussion Tom Brady could ever imagine.” Lucky to have survived, Langford earned his first Purple Heart.
In 2010, he was twice deployed to Afghanistan.
That February, Langford was serving in the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a vehicle commander on a convoy leaving eastern Afghanistan when an IED hit his vehicle. The impact knocked him unconscious, broke three of his ribs and ripped a disc in his back. It also resulted in a second Purple Heart.
Four months later, in June, after recovering from his injuries, Langford was back in Afghanistan with the 503rd Infantry when his unit came under attack and engaged in an intense firefight. Managing to jump over a grenade thrown by an enemy soldier, he broke several bones and still has a fragment of the device lodged in one of his legs. The experience led to his third and final Purple Heart.
Medically retired in June 2013, Langford no longer fights for his country but instead fights for himself. Over the years, he’s been treated for traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
The Langford family moved into its 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home in July 2013 — mortgage free, thanks to the Military Warriors Support Foundation.
“There’s a lot of sadness, but I’ve reached a point in life where we’ve got awesome friends, we have so many people who have done so much for us, that it feels pretty amazing,” he says. “We’re blessed.”
Roofing And Respect
Amazed by Langford’s three Purple Heart medals, Fields told Cherup about the vet and Pit Crew Roofing offered the family a significant discount on a new Atlas roof.
In early September 2018, Pit Crew installed a Signature Select® Roofing System, including 24 squares of Natural Expressions Pinnacle® Pristine architectural shingles in Coastal Granite and WeatherMaster® Ice and Water underlayment.
With the help of partner businesses, Pit Crew also donated a $1,000 solar attic fan, as well as new gutters.
“They did a great job,” Langford says.
One Of The Few, The Proud
Like Langford, Cherup joined the military right out of high school, enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1996. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, NC, and also spent a year in Okinawa, Japan.
During his four years in the service, Cherup worked as a motor transport logistics vehicle system operator before moving into nuclear, biologic and chemical warfare defense. In 2000, he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal.
“I’m a very big proponent of veterans getting the assistance they need because I don’t feel we do,” Cherup says. “So any time that we as a company or I, myself, can reach out and do something to help a fellow veteran, it’s just the right thing to do. There’s no marketing gimmick behind it. I just care about veterans getting the help they need.”
For more information about Atlas Roofing products, visit atlasroofing.com/roof-shingles.