NEW ORLEANS -- At age 94, Ed Lee has a wide smile and lots of stories, like those about slavery, heard from his father, who was born a slave.

"He was 5 years old when slaves were freed. His daddy told him all about it. His daddy was a slave."

After serving in the Navy during WWII, Ed came back to Algiers, bought land on the former plantation where his father and grandfather worked and built his house himself.

"Oh this house means everything to me. I built it and went to school for construction."

He had long retired as a contractor when his home was damaged by Katrina. Now the floors are sinking, the walls cracked, the windows leaking.

"It got old and rotted, termites, the windows and all that went bad, and I ain't got no money to fix it," Lee said.

"Mr. Lee for the last 10 years has lived in a house that would make, that would look bad in the third world," said St. Bernard Project Founder Zack Rosenburg.

The St. Bernard Project is working to help Lee and other veterans who can't afford badly needed home repairs.

"And we have four other veterans including Mr. Lee on the waiting list," said Rosenburg.

"This was great to me, because I really need it," Lee said, smiling.

When Rosenburg told me about Lee, an assistant asked when they would start working on his house. Zack said when they had the money to do the work, and that's the reason for this Action Report, to help the St. Bernard Project help these veterans.

"So the goal is to kick off rebuilding on all four of these homes on Veterans Day," Rosenburg said.

"Mean the world to me," Lee said. 

To make donations to the St. Bernard Project, call the agency at 277-6831, or visit their website at