Local group raises money to get legendary WWII paratrooper a new furnace

Local group raises money for legendary WWII paratrooper

A local group has raised thousands of dollars to help a legendary World War II paratrooper get a new furnace before winter.

His wood-fired furnace is broken and needs replaced, but he told the group he didn’t want help getting a new one.

James “Pee Wee” Martin, 98, was a paratrooper in the famed 101st airborne.

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News Center 7's John Bedell talked with Martin about his change of heart for the new furnace that will help make a difference.

“I don’t have any problems. I still drive. I have an unrestricted driver’s license. I go wherever I want,” he said. “Age means nothing. It’s your physical condition, your mental condition determines what you can do.”

Martin says a group of people came to him and said they wanted to replace his old furnace and had an HVAC company lined up.

He initially said no, but later changed his mind once he realized it would help him pay it forward and help other veterans.
"The group is starting a foundation to help these veterans and the care they need in their homes."

The organization, which has raised over $7,000, said they hope helping Martin would get the word out so they can do the same for other veterans who need help around the house.