FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Soldiers and civilians turned wrenches, tightened screws and performed heavy lifting to construct new playground equipment at Westgate Park in Dothan, June 26.

Forty-eight Aviation Basic Officer Leadership Course and Aviation Basic Warrant Officer Course members joined more than 300 other volunteers in the construction, Kim Meeks, Dothan assistant director of operations, said.

"It's always good news when (Soldiers) come out to help with these types of projects," he said. "They really show a lot of community spirit and they can really get a job done."

The volunteers split into teams to help accomplish their efforts quicker, he added. Each group was named for different comic book superheroes, including the Soldiers, designated the Spider-Man team.

Capt. Joe Rozycki, class instructor and project officer, noted volunteering in the community is a great way for Soldiers to get to know people in the area.

"It's always great to give back to the community," he said. "It gives the guys a chance to get out of the classroom, and really get to know one another and other local residents."

WO1 Josh Chason, a Maryland native, agreed with Rozycki and said he got a lot out of the project.

"This was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday," he said. "Getting to work with people from all over the area is one of the best things we as a class can do for ourselves and the community."

Building a new playground is no small task, according to Ronnie Dean, Rotary Miracle Wheel Foundation chairman. The Rotarians and the city of Dothan were the primary organizers of the build.

"This project has been in development since 2006," Dean said. "Without the outpouring of community support we received, this wouldn't have been possible."

Fort Rucker Soldiers' participation was "symbolic of what is great about the community," he said. "When they walked in, a special feeling went over the crowd. We really appreciate all they do and it just made the day that much more meaningful."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16