Victoria plumbing firm offers free hot water tanks to veterans

Zach, Vangel and Wade by Wade Roberts Plumbing

A Victoria-based plumping company is recognizing those who fought for our country, by handing out free water tanks with installation to veterans in the city.

Wade Roberts Plumbing’s “Tanks to our Veterans” raffle, launched in 2021, encourages people to submit name and story of a veteran who would benefit from the new home game.

Then come November 11, three names will be drawn. Last year’s contest was a huge success and “just amazing,” says Vangel Roberts, the company wanted to make it an annual event.

“We typically make charitable contributions to our community, so we’ve done a lot of different things primarily focused on overseas water projects,” said Vangel, co-owner of Wade Roberts Plumbing.

“But we wanted to do something closer to home, so we have some of our funds that we dedicate to that.”

Last Remembrance Day, Vangel said the tank’s first recipient was a 96-year-old World War II veteran. Another was a member of Wounded Warriors who competed in the Invictus Games in 2018.

“All three didn’t even know they were nominated, so when they got our phone call saying they had won free water heaters, they were totally blown away,” Vangel recalled.

“It’s just a really cool way to say thank you.”

According to Vangel, the plumbing business, which she co-owns with husband Wade Roberts, has partnered with EMCO Supplies and Rheem Manufacturing. Together, these companies are donating two of the three tanks.

But the inspiration behind ‘Tanks for our Veterans’ came from plumber Zach Jilg, following a personal story he shared with his colleagues.

Every year, Wade Roberts’ team comes together to think about how they can help groups in the community – seniors and vets topped the list in 2021.

At the meeting, CFO Linda Cretney came up with the idea of ​​donating tanks, but Zach insisted on making it happen.

He told how he lost his best friend, Private Chad Horn, in 2008. The 21-year-old and two others died simultaneously while on active duty in Afghanistan.

“Zach wondered if we could do three tanks for three veterans, in memory of those three fallen soldiers who never made it home,” Vangel said.

That’s when the company posted the contest on Facebook “and all these people started sending all these amazing veteran stories all over our city, and it was really impactful,” she recalls.

According to Vangel, she and her colleagues do not consider themselves heroes in any way.

“It’s just a few tanks,” she said.

“These people who lost their lives were young men and women who had sisters and brothers and family members who abandoned them, and that’s a pretty big sacrifice.

“It’s kind of our heart behind it. To shine a light on them and say thank you, and honor them in every way possible,” Vangel added.

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