201st MI Battalion Rear Det. volunteers come to the fore
May 28, 2013
While the main body of the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion is serving overseas, Soldiers of its rear detachment at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston are making time for community outreach even while supporting their deployed brothers and sisters.
A handful of them traded their Army uniforms for civilian work clothes May 15 and 17 to give a hand to Habitat for Humanity, the organization that uses donated materials and voluntary labor to build houses for people in need.
The Soldiers were assigned a house in the Coleman Ridge subdivision, on the southwest side of San Antonio. San Antonio Habitat for Humanity staff member David Murphy said he loved working with them.
"They're here to work," he said. "They're not afraid to try things. And they have tremendous pride and confidence in their work."
The 201st MI Battalion Soldiers got busy laying tiles and installing closet shelves, base boards and door trim with all the measuring, cutting and nailing they entailed.
"I have some limited experience with carpentry, but most of the Soldiers here don't have any," said Sgt. Daniel Hess, the battalion's highest-ranking Soldier at the site. "The Habitat staff showed us what to do, got us started and then checked on us from time to time to make sure we were doing OK."
Hess said he'd volunteered for Habitat for Humanity once before and wanted to do it again.
"Helping to build a home for a family who can't afford one is a great way to help out in the community," Hess said. "But it's also good way to have a change of pace, to get outside to work."