"Team Wagonmasters" and "Lowe's Heroes" build something together
December 22, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers of the 15th Sustainment Brigade's "Team Wagonmasters" rear detachment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) volunteered during Phantom family time Dec. 3 to build something together with members of the "Lowe's Heroes" program and the Knights of Columbus at the home of Sgt. Kimberly Munley, the civilian military police officer who was injured during the Nov. 5 shootings here.
"Our biggest hero right now is Kim and Sgt. [Mark] Todd. And so we're building a wheelchair ramp and deck for her, so she can be in the backyard with her kids and not be confined to the house," Annjeanette Kuczenski, the project manager and community liaison for Lowe's in Killeen, said.
"Team Wagonmasters" became involved when a fellow Soldier heard about the project from her husband, who works with Kuczenski, and brought it to the attention of the Soldiers and asked for volunteers.
Soldiers worked alongside employees and retired engineers to build a wheelchair ramp, deck and gazebo for Munley and her family, but the project was shut down due to rain.
"We [Soldiers] decided that was not enough.
"We wanted to finish what we started, so after [3 p.m.] formation on Thursday, we piled in a car and did what we had to do." Pvt. Nathaniel Gopaul, a transportation management coordinator and a South Jamaica, N.Y., native, with the 15th Sust. Bde., said.
Sgt. Destony Troy, a legal liaison and command finance specialist for the 15th Sust. Bde., also volunteered to give up her family time on Dec. 3 and again on Dec. 7 to help put the finishing touches on the deck and gazebo.
"When I heard what and where the project was, I had to step in and do something." Troy, an Odessa, Texas, native, said.
Troy, the mother of a 6-month-old boy who lives two blocks from the Munley home said that she walked by that house a million times while she was pregnant and didn't even imagine how her family would one day be effected.
"It was a great honor to do this for someone in my very own neighborhood who did so much for a lot of Soldiers that day," Troy said.
"There's really six degrees of separation here," Kuczenski, whose husband works with Munley, said.
"We're all family," she added.
"It was fun using power tools, swinging a hammer and working for a good cause." Gopaul said.
Gopaul, who works at the 15th SB brigade headquarters building located about less than a half of a mile from the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, added that he believes a Soldier's job is to protect everyone, the American way of life and not ask for anything in return.
"She not only protected the Soldiers in the center that day, but me and my battle buddies, too.
"He [Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan] could have easily came down there, busted through the buildings glass doors and did a lot more damage, but she stopped him. And for that I am honored to do this for her and her family"
"This is sort of a little bit, a payback for what she did for us that day," said Ron Strasser, a retired engineer with the Knights of Columbus.
Kuczenski said that the community came out in "full force".
"I'm really pleased with the finished product and the community response," said Kuczenski. "It was awesome that the 15th was able to come out and I look forward to working with them on other community projects."
Munley was not available for an interview due to the on-going investigation, but did speak with Kuczenski.
"I talked to her at the dedication.
"She said she really appreciated everyone's support and expressed how grateful she was for the 15th Sustainment Brigade being there to help out."