Army vet wins boat-makeover contest

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Vietnam veteran Roger DeVries was the winner of the Extreme Boat Makeover Contest sponsored by the Grand Rapids Boat Show.

Out of more than 35 entries submitted in February by area residents on behalf of friends and family members, DeVries was chosen because of his selfless acts for others that allowed him little time to work on the 1974 Sea Ray 190 he bought three years ago.

The boat fell into such disrepair it was close being junked, but a group of friends, family and companies, including Teleflex Marine based in Litchfield, Ill., secretly spirited the vessel away for a 10-week, $28,000 restoration including new upholstery, electronics and systems.

DeVries hopes to use the boat this summer for family fishing trips off their lakeside cottage near Greenville, Mich., with his three sons, who have served in the Army in the Middle East.

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