DEER PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Seventy-five years after D-Day, a Long Island veteran is still being thanked for his service.
His home was recently customized to accommodate his needs after a bad fall, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports.
Seven-and-a-half decades ago, Frank Agoglia served his country in its hour of need.
On an Army glider, he crash-landed in Normandy, the invasion landing in the history books as the beginning of the end of World War II.
“I feel for the guys who never got back. We lost a lot of men in the crash of those gliders that we were on,” Agoglia said.
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The 95-year-old D-Day veteran didn’t expect nearly a lifetime later, grateful Americans would answer his needs. His independence was lost this summer after a fall resulted in a fractured hip, surgery and months of rehab.
Agoglia was unable to return to the Deer Park house he’s called home for 55 years. Enter the Make It Count Foundation.
“This is just a way for, I think, all of us who didn’t serve, to serve,” foundation founder Jon Reese said.
Reese left Wall Street after 9/11 to give back and to serve the heroes who have sacrificed and served us.
The foundation gutted Agoglia’s bathroom, widening the doorway and making it fully handicapped-accessible, and made the garage door electric so he can get in and out.
The renovations cost nearly $20,000.
“My god did they do a good job. I can’t thank them enough,” Agoglia said. “This is where I want to be.”
Agoglia’s grateful children say they’re overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.
“This work is a godsend,” said Susan Pombano, Agoglia’s daughter. “Never too late to thank a veteran. It’s really wonderful.”
A hero who crash-landed in Normandy will not be stopped by a fall in a supermarket. County Executive Steve Bellone says it’s our duty to give thanks.
Donations come in part from the Suffolk County Marathon, which will take place on Oct. 27 in Deer Park. This year, it’s dedicated to World War II veterans.
Agoglia was one of six brothers who served in World War II. All of them made it home. Agoglia later served as a New York City police officer.