GLENDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -- Eugene Stoesser has a tough time getting around his Glendale home.

PIF disabled vet Marine Corps League

Eugene Stoesser

The former U.S. Marine has had two heart attacks, open-heart surgery, and two strokes. But things got worse a few weeks ago when Stoesser broke his foot while remodeling a bedroom.

"When I tipped over, I tried to catch myself with my arms on the closet door, and my foot went out from under me right on the corner of the dresser," he explained.

The Valley vet wondered how he'd finish his home-improvement project; he didn't have the money to hire someone to do the work.

That's where Byron Ruch comes in.

Department of Arizona Marine Corps League

Ruch heads up the Glendale branch of the Department of Arizona Marine Corps League, a military nonprofit that helps vets in need.

Within days, volunteers from the group showed up and started working, tearing down walls and expanding the bedroom, giving Stoesser easier access.

And they did it all free of charge.

"Some of them are retired," Stoesser said. "Some work every day, and they found the time and means to come in and help us out."

PIF Marine Corps League

The Marine Corps League does its best to help as many Valley vets as it can, but it's not easy. Donations can be hard to come by.

"That's the biggest part, trying to get funds in order to do these jobs," Ruch said. "If we pull it out of our own pocket, we can't survive either."

Stoesser wanted to Pay it Forward to the Marine Corps League, so he reached out to CBS 5 and invited Ruch over to give him $500.

PIF Disabled veteran Marine Corps League

Eugene Stoesser wanted to Pay it Forward to the Marine Corps League so he reached out to CBS 5 and invited Byron Ruch over to give him $500.

"We really appreciate it," Stoesser told Ruch.  "You were a lifesaver, and on behalf of my wife, myself and Channel 5 Pay it Forward, we want to give you $500. That way you can continue the good work you do."

For more information on how to help other veterans through the Department of Arizona Marine Corps League, visit deptazmcl.org.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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Reporter

Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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