Local veterans group rally to support one of their own - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local veterans group rally to support one of their own

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A local veterans group is rallying around one of their own, after they say he's been taken advantage of by the city.

Vernon Herod lives in Collegedale, when his neighbor asked if she could use a small portion of his property to build a turn-around he obliged.

Now he says, she's continues to build on his land, and the city is allowing her to do it.

Now veterans from all over are showing their support for Vernon at Monday's city hall meeting.

Herod says the city of Collegedale has ignored its very own codes and regulations by allowing his neighbor to build on his property.

After our story aired in mid October veterans from all over have shown support for Vernon and are expected to show up at city hall Monday when he addresses city officials.

One veteran in particular has taken it upon himself to see it through, that the city and Vernon's neighbor will make things right.

"That man's act of kindness has been abused," said Steve Hullander, Vietnam Veteran.

Vietnam Veteran Steve Hullander and World War II veteran Vernon Herod only recently met.

"I had to do something, I had to get involved," said Hullander.

We first met Vernon in mid October, he explained how years ago his neighbor had asked to build a driveway that would overlap his property by about 2 feet, city code says it can't be built within 10 feet of the property line.

Vernon and the city agreed as long as nothing else was built on top of it, but it wasn't long before a shed and then a carport went up, both without the city's permission.

And both times city commissioner Larry Hanson says the appeals board allowed it to happen.

To Vernon, it was a stab in the back and a painful realization that he didn't matter anymore in a city he's helped develop over that past 50 years.

"I went into my bedroom and I got down on my knees and I prayed to god to lift this burden and he did. The door bell rang, I went to the door and there was Steve Hullander," said Vernon Herod, World War II Veteran.

"When I saw your story we headed over here to meet Vernon," said Hullander.

Hullander is just one member of the Veteran's Nation who are standing behind Veron, when they say the city is not.

"We will show the city of Collegedale something they didn't show him and that's respect," said Hullander.   

Crowds of veterans are expected at city hall when Vernon addresses city commissioners, but this time he knows he's not alone anymore.

"I needed assistance from a fellow human being and he has helped me tremendously," said Herod.

"You just can't realize how much of a blessing that was," said Herod.  

We tried again to personally contact Vernon's neighbor, we've not heard back.

We also left messages with the appeals board chairman, we're waiting to hear from him as well.

Vernon says his neighbor offered to build a fence around the driveway after our story aired, but he says that was also a promise made several years ago.

So this time he's letting the Veterans Nation take the wheel.

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