Raeford veteran’s once-flooded home now renovated thanks to Ft. Bragg soldiers

James Jackson (left) and Kaleigh Presgraves. Photo by Nate Rodgers/CBS North Carolina.

RAEFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raeford veteran whose home flooded in early October now has his home renovations compete thanks to a group of Fort Bragg soldiers who volunteered to help him.

James Jackson, 67, lost most of his possessions when his Raeford home flooded the week before Hurricane Matthew — and then was damaged when the hurricane actually hit.

A group of Fort Bragg soldiers came together to renovate Jackson’s home for free.

Jackson’s home has actually flooded three times in the last 20 years.

After the home flooded the last time and most of his belongings were damaged, Jackson said he wanted to give the home back to the mortgage company.

But now, Jackson said he’s in a much better state of mind.

“No complaints, none, I don’t have nada,” Jackson said.

It was a devastating sight at the Raeford home in October as furniture and other valuables were destroyed when three feet of water got inside.

Kaleigh Presgraves, a Fort Bragg soldier, was passing through the area. She didn’t know Jackson, but wanted to lend a hand.

Presgraves rallied together about 20 other soldiers, including her Golden Knight husband, to help.

“I got a little meticulous and started repainting and trying to make it perfect for him,” said Kaleigh Presgraves.

Three months later, Jackson has a brand-new kitchen, with new countertops and cabinets.

There is also new carpet throughout the home and the ceilings and walls are all freshly painted.

Fort Bragg soldiers also donated furniture, including a wooden table.

Jackson also has a state-of—the-art bathroom and his updated bedroom is what he calls his “mancave.”

“If soldiers pulled together like they did, this place would be better,” Jackson said.

The retired army veteran didn’t have flood insurance, but after more flooding from Hurricane Matthew and significant damage to the outside of his home, Jackson received assistance from FEMA.

Jackson said that although he has more repairs to make, he’s eternally grateful for the help from his Fort Bragg family.

“God stepped in and put it on her heart to help me out and I’m thankful for that,” Jackson said.

Jackson says he now has flood insurance. And he plans to host a BBQ for the soldiers to thank them for all the hard work.

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