Wounded Warriors build for Habitat for Humanity
July 25, 2011
Wounded Warriors form partnership with Habitat for Humanity
Building homes for deserving families
Story by Staff Sgt. Teresa L. Adams
In the United States, the concept of the American Dream is synonymous with family and home ownership. Millions of families live this dream. However, there are many honest, hard-working families who are challenged by owning a home in today’s less than friendly economy. Couple this with being forced to rent expensive or substandard and in some situations unhealthy homes and you end up with many families who are in need of and deserve home ownership. Wounded Warriors and Habitat for Humanity have made owning a home a reality for many families in Tacoma.
An exceptional partnership between more than 30 Wounded Warrior volunteers and cadre from the Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Habitat for Humanity of Tacoma-Pierce County June 13-15 continued the process of building two of six Habitat for Humanity homes located at Founder’s Circle. These affordable and decent homes are now one step closer to being ready to provide respectable and affordable housing for deserving families.
Since 2007, the Army has created 29 Warrior Transition Battalions that provide a plan-specific recovery that meets the physical, emotional, career, family, social and spiritual goals of wounded, injured, or ill Soldiers transitioning back to regular duty or civilian life. Warrior volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity build took great pride in giving back to their local community.
“I am a volunteer by nature,” said Spc. Michael J. Ballard, a combat medic assigned to Alpha Company, Warrior Transition Battalion. “Now that I am injured and can’t do my job, I still want to give back. When I am given the opportunity do something for my community, I am all over it!”
The goal of the Founder’s Circle Habitat for Humanity Build is to give six deserving families the means to transition out of substandard living conditions and to provide them decent and affordable housing. The unique partnership with the Warrior Transition Battalion is greatly appreciated by the staff at Habitat for Humanity.
“What these soldiers have accomplished in three days is totally amazing,” said Maureen Fife, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity, Tacoma-Pierce County. “They have a great work ethic and are an inspiration. They continue to give to the community even after doing so much for their country.”
Recently, Mark C. Jameson, a Vietnam-Era Veteran, was informed that he has been approved for a home through Habitat’s home ownership program. Jameson and his two young daughters were, at one time, homeless and for years received assistance from Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing, an organization that provides rental assistance to Veterans and their families. Jameson’s family will be moving into their new home later this year. Habitat has reserved a number of homes for qualified Veteran families and is actively seeking out Veteran applicants
“Soldiers should really go talk to the folks at Habitat,” said Jameson. “After being homeless and then to have this happen for my family is just amazing. I want to thank the soldiers working here today from the bottom of my heart.”
Military leadership took an active interest in the unique nature of the Habitat build and its contribution to the well-being of wounded warriors. Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, the Army Surgeon General, visited the build site July 15 to congratulate the soldiers not only on their contributions to the community but to their own healing processes as well.
“This in an innovative therapy for our Wounded Warriors that I would like to begin implementing Army wide.” said Schoomaker.
For more information regarding volunteerism or applications for a Habitat home, contact Habitat office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 253-627-5626.