San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office rallies to help retired deputy

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- San Joaquin County Sheriff deputies do a lot to serve the community, but yard work and construction aren't normally part of the job.

They went above and beyond to help one of their own Saturday: retired deputy Matias Urrutia.

They're tearing down Urrutia's fence and building him a new one after it was damaged during the recent wind event a couple weeks ago.

"This is, this is fantastic," says Urrutia.  "The wind blew part of it down. My neighbor, also a retired deputy, we were going to put it up and the next thing I know he's coming in here with all kinds of deputies."

Undersheriff Steve Walker says deputies raised money, donated tools and volunteered to spend the weekend clearing out Urrutia's backyard, taking down the old fence piece by piece so they can then build him a new one.

"We have a lot of deputies here today and correctional officers and civilian staff that work with the sheriff's office and we're all pitching in to help a fellow veteran, a fellow deputy and a fellow family member," says Walker.

Urrutia worked as a San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputy for 29 years after serving his country in Vietnam as a Marine and then again in Iraq with the Army National Guard.

"It's important I think to help those who have helped us. This person served his community as a deputy sheriff, served his county... More than once in two different wars as a veteran so, especially this weekend, it just seemed like the right thing to do," says Walker.

Walker says replacing the fence is just a small way to say thank you for his service.

"That way he doesn't have to worry about it. One less thing for him to do," says Walker

But for the retired Marine and deputy, it means much more.

"One big thing less to worry about. As a veteran, I really appreciate it," said Urrutia.

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