Soldiers help build homes for Habitat
Story by: By Suzanne Ovel
Photo by: Photo by Suzanne Ovel
Soldiers picked up hammers and shovels to help build six homes for Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity families in south Tacoma July 11-13.
More than 30 Soldiers and staff members volunteered for the Warrior Transition Battalion’s fourth annual build to contribute to affordable housing for local families in need.
“I figure I’ve never done it, and I had some limitations on what I could do to assist, but I realized even the smallest things helped,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Coady, a Soldier with Alpha Company.
The Oregon National Guardsman helped dig holes for fence posts for one of 13 homes in the Ainsworth Vista, a new neighborhood that will boast both a community playground and a community garden. The WTB crew pushed progress along in the community by putting in fences, roofing, doing tile work, and other projects.
The Soldiers themselves benefited from volunteering, said WTB Command Sgt. Maj. Sans Gilmore. “They work together out here and it builds teamwork. They’re giving back to the community, and they feel good about that,” he said.
Staff Sgt. Sean Stephenson, a Soldier with Bravo Co. and a tiler and welder, used his experience to lead a smaller team of volunteers in putting in fences, while Sgt. Guaiza Hemsing, a Soldier with A Co, led a group in installing hurricane braces.
As is Habitat for Humanity tradition, those the Soldiers were helping out were also helping themselves. Edgar Anastacio worked alongside the Soldiers putting his “sweat equity” into one of his future neighbor’s houses. Anastacio said he appreciated seeing WTB volunteers helping with his neighborhood.
“It means a lot to me; I mean, I can’t do it all by myself. Without them, none of this would be possible,” said Anastacio.
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