Michael Shaw joined the Army in 1968, and has been disabled ever since he was exposed to Agent Orange.
His story resonated with the folks at Rebuilding Together Sacramento. They applied for a $24,000 Sears Heroes at Home grant, and won it.
For decades, Shaw's home had fallen into disrepair. Friday, crews cleaned up his yard, fixed up the electrical, the floors, repainted the home and repaired the driveway. There's even a new American flag waving outside.
But that's not all.
The cherry on top was a $1,500 lift-chair to help Shaw stand and sit from La-Z-Boy.
"When you're standing, you barely have to sit down, and it pulls you down, and then when you want to get out of the chair, same thing. It lifts you up, so you're almost at a standing position," La-Z-Boy spokesperson Traci Rockefeller Cusack said.
Hundreds of volunteers helped put everything together.
"To know that Patty and Michael get to age in this home now," Rebuilding Together Sacramento spokesperson Sandy Econome said. "They get to stay here, and it's the home they have all their memories in. That means so much."
Shaw was speechless for most of the surprise.
The chair and the upgrades were a reminder that he lived through some of the toughest times to bring freedom to the rest of us.
"It means that the ones who are left alive get to see some of the rewards that those that are dead didn't get to see," he said.