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Miah Washburn is one of six veteran contest winners in the United States this year.

COURTESY - Miah Washburn

Miah Washburn has been dealing with a deteriorating leaking for the last three years.

The Aloha veteran will soon get some relief after winning a brand-new roof from Beacon Roofing Supply's annual Beacon of Hope contest.

Washburn is one of six veteran contest winners who will get a free roof replacement, as well as $2,500 in necessary repairs.

The nationwide contest was first launched in 2019 to help veteran families get the chance to have a safe place to live. Veterans are nominated by friends and peers and members of the public later vote online for the winners.

The single father spent time serving in both the U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard for more than two decades. He bought his home in Aloha in 2015, while he was in Afghanistan, relying on pictures and information he could see online.

"I bought this house for me and my kids, but it's never been just me and my kids," he said. "It's always been me and my kids and then like a couple other people who need a place to live for a few months out of the year. It's been a good way for me to take care of friends and family."

About three years ago, Washburn started to notice a drip through one of the lighting fixtures in the kitchen. Three years later, there's now "a rotted-out hole" in his ceiling.

"It's just a mess," Washburn said.

About a few months ago, Washburn met a new friend who nominated him for a new roof. They met while he was performing a show on veteran experiences at Portland State University. She called him up later to ask if he knew of any veterans who needed a new roof, Washburn said.

"I was like, 'Yeah, me.' So she submitted me for it," he said.

Washburn has found a second career of sorts as an actor. He's performed in plays at Portland State University. He has also appeared in Oregon Lottery commercials, and even a Foo Fighters music video.

"I'm not a big-time (actor) or anything like that," he said, "but it's what I do for fun and a little bit of money."

While Washburn is relieved about getting a new roof, he's quick to point out that he's not as downtrodden over the leakage as one would think.

"People have been living with water leaking through their roof for thousands of years. I'm sure we'll be OK," he said.


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