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Veterans like Wahl may find themselves having trouble keeping up with simple repairs, let alone more complex ones. "I'm very restricted as far as my movement goes. They did a masterful job as far as helping me on anything that was above my shoulders," he said.

"Bob had a lot of hazardous chemicals, old paint and stuff in his house," said Jennings of the job at Wahl's home, where he served as work team captain. "There were some trees overgrown in his yard -#8212; simply things he couldn't manage."

Jennings said the work his team can provide covers a wide range -#8212; he's assisted on replacing an unsafe porch, carpeting a home and updating a hazardous kitchen. "A lot of times we put safety bars in the showers," he said. "Safety is really the key projects that we do."

Wahl summarized his own experience with a recommendation. "A lot of the guys are professional tradesmen who donate their time. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who needs help," he said.

Connecting low-income people who need help with their homes, and local volunteers and skilled laborers who are willing to help them, is Rebuilding Together Petaluma's mission.

"The main thing is we really want to attract veterans to apply. But we're open for applications for anyone who's low-income and needs help with their home," said Hamilton. "We're the only organization in Petaluma that does this."

Veterans and other low-income residents of the Petaluma area can apply at rtpetaluma.org, or by phone at 765-3944.

(Contact Christian Kallen at argus@arguscou rier.com)