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County's Operation Code Vet helps Valrico veteran

Volunteers stepped up to help a Valrico resident and retired U.S. Army veteran bring his home up to code.
Published Jul. 22, 2017

VALRICO — A legally blind U.S. Army veteran became the latest benefactor of Hillsborough County's new Operation Code Vet cleanup program.

On July 15, more than a dozen volunteers pulled together to help clean up the 77-year-old's Valrico home and eliminate his code violation issues. His code enforcement issues were related mostly to accumulation of cars and an RV in his back yard, pool issues, yard debris and trash, and some sheds that needed to be enclosed on at least three sides.

Volunteers pressure cleaned the pool area, worked on enclosing the sheds, cut down a dead tree and removed a lot of yard debris and trash.

Operation Code Vet is organized by Code Enforcement officer Christine Zien-McCombs, who wanted to help the veterans she ran across while working code enforcement cases. She's connected with a number of contractors, pool companies and others who are lending their services to help veterans.

The program officially launched in May, helping two veterans. Zien-McCombs is driven by personal and professional motivations: her husband is a retired Air Force master sergeant who now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to Code Enforcement, several agencies, nonprofit organizations and local businesses help by volunteering or donating materials. Anyone interested in helping can call (813) 743-8420 or go to hcflgov.net/operationcodevet

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