Monday, May 24, 2004

Army reservist Todd Rosonke got the call, he answered.

A member of Company A of the Army Reserve's 389th Engineering Battalion in Iowa City, the 39-year-old left family, friends and a home in disarray because of an extensive remodeling project.

Rosonke spent a year in Iraq, and his duties included helping rebuild airports and schools and setting up bases for troops.

While away, he was unaware of all that was happening back home. He returned earlier this month to an overwhelming surprise.

"I felt guilty. It was almost too much," he said.

The farmhouse in Vinton he'd left in an unfinished state sported a deck and the interior had been completely redone.

"I kept thinking, he's over there for us and building all these things for everyone else, and here he is with a house that's kind of a mess," friend Nancy Stroschein said.

Stroschein became the unofficial project manager, organizing volunteers and businesses that went to work on Rosonke's house...

Stroschein's crews did electrical and plumbing work, finished drywall, painted, stained woodwork, installed hardwood floors and carpet and hung cabinets and doors.

Besides individuals, others lending a hand included Edwards Plumbing and members of the Knights of Columbus. Home Depot donated a portion of the cabinetry.

"This was all very rewarding for all of us," Stroschein said.

Rosonke was a platoon sergeant in Iraq and said he was honored to serve.

"I believe in the cause, and I think there is a true war on terrorism that needs to be fought," he said.

"I'd like to thank all of the American people for their support."

A few very close to home included.

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