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WHNT News 19 Viewer Offers Help to WWII Veteran Who Lost Home To Fire

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Several weeks ago, a fire destroyed the home of World War II vet Mel Johnson and his family.

But one WHNT News 19 viewer saw the story and decided to step up.

Brian Stephens says he had an opportunity to help a fellow veteran, and he didn't want to miss it.  He explains, "My wife and I recently got married, entered our relationship each with a house, and we decided to put one on the market.  This opportunity arose to help out a fellow veteran, so I said, 'Why don't we just see if he wants to rent it short-term for a while until he gets on his feet.'"

WHNT News 19  took action to put the two in contact, and it got results for this family.

The Johnsons started the process of moving in Sunday.

They signed the papers to live in the home until they rebuild where their original home once stood.

Of course, this home won't replace everything.

Mel Johnson says, "I had some things back during World War II that I treasured, and I lost all of them."

Still it fills a need.  Stephens says he just feels thrilled to help out, "Peter Jennings called them the greatest generation.  For me to have an opportunity to help somebody from that generation and really knows what the word sacrifice means, to me, that means a lot.  I thought it would be a great idea to reach out to him, and I'm glad he accepted."

It's a chance to give back to a family that has given its all.

"We're a military family really.  My dad served in World War I. I served in World War II.  My son served in Vietnam.  And all his five sons served in Iraq and Afghanistan."

They fought to protect their homeland, so it's nice they have a home to call their own.