U.S. Navy veteran Mickie Jackson, center, is pictured Thursday with Lee’s Roofing owner Lee Wilcoxon, left, and project manager Slayde Wilcoxon in front of her Township Road 32 home, which received a brand new roof this week thanks to the business’ generosity. (EXAMINER PHOTO | Mandy Loehr)
A U.S. Navy veteran’s resilience and bravery while persevering through difficult medical odds and continuing to serve her country was honored this week by her family and Lee’s Roofing and Spouting, as she was named the recipient of the company’s third annual free roof giveaway specifically for veterans.
Sunny skies and warmer temperatures Wednesday, Nov. 15, provided the perfect conditions for a crew from the business to complete the roof on Mickie Jackson’s rural Bellefontaine along Township Road 32 in just one day.
For Jackson and her two children, ages 14 and 17, the new roof was badly needed on their home, which had previously been her late parents’ Joseph and Pamela Jackson’s residence.
“This takes such a big headache off my plate,” the 1991 Bellefontaine High School graduate said Thursday, Nov. 16, while admiring her new midnight plum shingle roof. “My parents moved here around 2005 and my dad had replaced the roof at some point. But it was not in good repair here recently.”
“We were worried about how Mickie and the kids were going to make it through the winter with the roof the way it was,” said one of her nominators, her aunt Samantha Jackson, who also made chicken sandwiches for the Lee’s Roofing crew.
“This new roof is a huge blessing for our family. We’re so grateful for their kindness and generosity.”
Six of Mickie’s family members rallied together to write nomination letters for her for the new roof through Lee’s Roofing and Spouting giveaway, which the company has offered for the past three years at Veterans Day.
“We received a number of very worthy nominees this year, but all of Jackson’s support really made her stand out,” said project manager Slayde Wilcoxon. He is an Army National Guard combat engineer, who just returned from a nine-month deployment with the U.S. Army to Syria, Kuwait and Iraq.
“We also wanted to pick a nominee for whom we could really make a big difference with the new roof.”
Samantha said she heard about the giveaway and started a message thread with her family to encourage them to nominate her niece Mickie, who suffered a massive stroke nearly 20 years ago at the young age of 30, while still active duty in the Navy.
“That was such a scary time,” her aunt recalled of the 2003 stroke. “We thought she was going to die. But she is a fighter and she made it through after several weeks in the hospital.
“While many people would apply for discharge in those circumstances, she continued to serve for another four years in the Navy.”
Mickie, who now works as a security guard with Genric at the Honda Marysville Auto Plant, related that she joined the Navy five years after her graduation from BHS and served a total of 10 1/2 years.
“I had fun doing it,” she said of her military service, which included spending a great deal of time working along South America in counter drug operations.
“I went down the entire East Coast of South America, and went through the Panama Canal three different times.”
As a female serving in the U.S. Navy, Mickie’s talents and persistence helped pave the way for women who would come after her.
“I went in two years after they started putting women on the (combatant) ships. You had to know your job and do a better job of it than the men.
“I was the only female E5 on the East Coast who did the job that I did.”
Her stroke occurred while she was serving active duty in Washington state. Mickie later was medically discharged in 2007, when she began experiencing seizures while she was pregnant with her daughter.
Lee’s Roofing owner Lee Wilcoxon said with all of the worthy nominees this year, they plan to roll over the other nominees for the next roof giveaway for Veterans Day 2024.
“This has been such an enjoyable project for us to be able to honor these local veterans and a practical way that we can extend our deep appreciation for their service,” he said. “We’re looking at getting a supplier on board and making next year even bigger.”
Individuals can submit new nominations for the 2024 Logan County veteran roof giveaway through several methods — via e-mail to e-mail to Office Administrator Joni Burton at joni; mailing to the office at: 805 E. Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine, OH, 43311; or dropping off at business during regular office hours.
The nominations should include the nominee’s name, address and a contact phone number, and participants are invited to provide information regarding why a new roof would be beneficial for this nominated Logan County veteran.