Victoria plumbing company gives free hot water tanks to veterans

Zach, Vangel & Wade from Wade Roberts Plumbing

A Victoria-based plumping company is recognizing those who have fought for our country, giving away free water tanks with installation to veterans around town.

Wade Roberts Plumbing’s ‘Tanks to our Veterans’ draw, which launched in 2021, encourages people to submit the name and story of a veteran who would benefit from the new home fixture.

Then come November 11th, three names will be selected at random. Last year’s contest was a big success and “just so amazing,” Vangel Roberts says the company wanted to make it an annual event.

“We usually make charitable contributions to our community, so we’ve done a lot of different things primarily focused around water projects overseas,” said Vangel, co-owner of Wade Roberts Plumbing.

“But we wanted to do something closer to home, so we have a chunk of our funds that we put towards that.”

Last Remembrance Day, Vangel says the first tank recipient was a 96-year-old World War II veteran. Another was a member of Wounded Warriors who participated in the Invictus Games in 2018.

“All three of them didn’t even know they were nominated, so when they got the phone call from us saying that they had won free hot water tanks, they were totally blown away,” Vangel recalled.

“It’s just a really cool way to say thank you.”

According to Vangel, the plumbing company, which she co-owns with husband Wade Roberts, teamed up with EMCO Supplies and Rheem Manufacturing. Together, those companies are donating two of the three tanks.

But the inspiration behind ‘Tanks for our Veterans’ came from plumber Zach Jilg, following a personal story he shared with his colleagues.

Every year, the Wade Roberts team comes together to brainstorm how they can help groups in the community—seniors and vets were at the top of the list in 2021.

At the meeting, Finance Manager Linda Cretney came up with the idea to give away tanks, but Zach pushed for it to happen.

He shared how he had lost his best friend, Private Chad Horn, back in 2008. The 21-year-old and two others died simultaneously while on active duty in Afghanistan.

“Zach wondered if we could possibly do three tanks for three Veterans, in memory of these three fallen soldiers who never made it home,” Vangel said.

That’s when the company posted the contest to Facebook “and all these people started sending in all these amazing stories of veterans all over our city, and it was really impactful,” she recalled.

According to Vangel, she and her colleagues don’t see themselves as heroes by any means.

“It’s just a couple of tanks,” she said.

“These people who lost their lives were young men and women who had sisters and brothers and family members who gave them up, and it’s a pretty big sacrifice.

“That’s kind of our heart behind it. To shine a light on them and to say thank you, and to honor them in any way we can,” Vangel added.

You can nominate a vet at

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