AUSTIN, Texas — When Ralph Ellis paid $15,800 to make his bathroom safer, he didn’t expect it could go four months without any work done. Now, the community wants to help.

“We can put this shower right where it’s out,” said Gary Henley, president and owner of Henley Homes Inc., a construction company in the Austin area.

Henley is also a board member for Operation FINALLY HOME – an organization that helps build disabled veterans mortgage-free homes or make renovations to a current home.

“I want to take this wall out to give you another foot of space in here,” said Henley.

The KVUE Defenders showed how Ellis lost the money and how the contractor, Donald Bockman with One Day Bath of Texas refused to do an on-camera interview to explain why.

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“I thought, man, we’ve got to do something,” said Henley.

Allen Bergeron, the co-founder of Honor Flight Austin, agrees.

Honor Flight is a charity that gives free flights to veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials.

Bergeron is reaching out to other veteran’s organizations as well as organizing community support.

“All the good that is happening now represents what our community is really all about, not what happened to him," said Bergeron. “We’re blessed to be able to do this for him,” said Bergeron.

The work is still being planned, but Henley said it will include a walk-in shower, comfort height commode, extending the bathroom, installing tile and making his entryway safer.

“If you do this work and he can’t get into the house, then it’s all for nothing,” said Henley.

“You’re part of the greatest generation,” said Bergeron to Ellis.

“You’re not going to be out any more money,” said Henley.

We reached back out to Bockman.

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“I have attempted many times to speak with the customers and still am trying to come to a compromise, yes," he said. "I have receipts for thousands in materials that I paid for their project. You may want to slow down on any mention of my company. I have recorded calls with you where you blatantly misquoted me and lied about what you would disclose. My attorney [redacted] will be in contact.” 

Ellis will not only get the work done, but he will also go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., next month.

If you also want to help Ralph Ellis or have another investigation you’d like to share, email the KVUE Defenders at defenders@kvue.com.

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