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Press Release

A Vietnam Era Veteran Receives Tiny Home

For the first time in over 20 years, seaman Bill Rocap who served on USS Strong during the Vietnam War, receives running water!

TAYLORSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA, August 22, 2022 / — Purple Heart Homes (PHH – is pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of The Home Depot Foundation, the organization has completed another project for a service-connected disabled Veteran. The recipient of this project is Bill Rocap, a Vietnam-era Navy Veteran.

“America is extraordinary!” Those are the words of Bill Rocap, when describing what he learned from his service during Vietnam.

In 1969, Bill was headed to college like many 18-year-olds. However, he received a draft letter that changed his plans. The United States was in the midst of the Vietnam War, and many individuals were called to serve the country. Mr. Rocap did not wait for the draft date. He approached the Navy recruiters and asked to leave immediately for training. When asked why he wanted to serve in the middle of a war, Bill replied, “Freedom is not free. Go visit [Arlington] cemetery,” he says, “and you might leave with a small understanding of what freedom costs.”

Bill Rocap and tiny home

Once he was finally released from the hospital, Bill set out to live his life to the fullest. He worked in construction, and eventually started his own computer business. However, Bill faced many challenges reintegrating back into society.

I have not had a kitchen sink in twenty-some-odd years. This is exciting. It’s huge! A real kitchen sink!”

Bill purchased a storage shed he saw for sale on the side of the road and moved it to his property. With intent to build a long-term house, Bill temporarily moved into the storage shed. Unfortunately, that was as far as Bill got towards his dream. Over time, he found himself living in the shed as his primary residence due to financial insecurity. For years, Bill was content to live in a dwelling with no running water, no HVAC, and no bed. He slept on a rock and dirt floor with a Boy Scout blanket he had from his childhood.

Purple Heart Homes, a 501(c)(3) Veteran charity headquartered in Statesville, North Carolina, came upon Bill Rocap during its Take That Hill 2020 fundraising event. In that event, multiple cyclists raced up and down Barrett Mountain as a fundraiser to support the Purple Heart Homes mission to provide housing solutions to service-connected disabled or aging Veterans.

During that fundraiser, Bill walked down from his shed to see what was going on and eventually introduced himself to Brad Borders, the VP of Community Outreach for Purple Heart Homes, who was riding in the event. Later that day, Brad and the rest of the cyclists found themselves at Bill’s ‘home’ and saw first-hand the rudimentary conditions under which Bill was living.

Bill Rocap is widely known in his community for creating white wooden crosses and distributing them while making friends along the way. He considers himself blessed and was reluctant to accept help from Purple Heart Homes, since he felt there were others who needed it more. After much prompting, Bill agreed to let Purple Heart Homes build him an ADA-compliant Veteran Tiny Home on his property.

Purple Heart Homes, with assistance from The Home Depot Foundation and a variety of community partners, is proud to announce that Bill moves into his new home this month! During a site visit last week, Mr. Rocap turned on his sink for the very first time. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I have not had a kitchen sink in twenty-some-odd years. This is exciting. It’s huge! A real kitchen sink!”

John Gallina, CEO and Co-Founder of Purple Heart Homes stated: “This is why we started Purple Heart Homes: to assist Veterans, like seaman Bill Rocap, who served on the USS Strong during the Vietnam War. PHH aims to improve Veterans’ quality of life by easing their day-to-day burdens.”

Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation, said: “We are honored to help provide Navy Veteran Bill Rocap with a customized home that enables him to live more comfortably and independently. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to providing affordable, accessible housing solutions for Veterans through our work with leading nonprofit organizations like Purple Heart Homes, our partner for the last decade. Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $400 million to serve our nation’s heroes, including nearly 750 Veterans with Purple Heart Homes.”

About Purple Heart Homes
Purple Heart Homes is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded by John Gallina and the late Dale Beatty, two Iraq combat-wounded Veterans who started a mission to provide housing solutions for Service-Connected Disabled Veterans and their families. Driven by the belief that no Veteran should be left behind, Purple Heart Homes, together with the community, is committed to ensuring quality life solutions for Disabled American Veterans from all conflicts.

For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @PHHTweet and Facebook + Instagram @PurpleHeartHomes. Purple Heart Homes – Improving Veterans’ Lives One Home at a Time.

About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation, the nonprofit arm of The Home Depot (NYSE: HD), works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. Veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $400 million in Veteran causes and improved more than 50,000 Veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in Veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program. 

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit and follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram @HomeDepotFoundation.


Purple Heart Homes, Inc.
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Purple Heart Homes, Inc.
755 Washington Ave
Statesville, North Carolina, 28677
United States