By Spc. Derrick Ramey, 3rd ABCT PAOJuly 3, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 3, 2013) -- Sledgehammer Soldiers assigned to B Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, assisted Warrior Outreach Inc. in the remodeling of Judy Hammack's home Thursday, in Fortson, Ga. Hammack is the widow of Army veteran William Hammack who passed away two years ago.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes, president and CEO of Warrior Outreach Inc., coordinated the event with the Sledgehammer Brigade and was on site to reveal Hammack's remodeled home.
"Some of these Soldiers just recently returned (from deployment); some of them just recently arrived at the unit," Rhodes said. "It's about team building, about connecting the community, as well as the Soldiers with what's going on. Giving back is so important. It is priceless, there is no other way to look at it."
Sgt. Steve Romain, B Company, was on site with the Soldiers assisting in the remodeling of Hammack's home.
"Mrs. Judy's house was pretty tore up and about two months ago we started working on it. Now I think it looks really wonderful," he said.
Capt. Keith Breland, B Company commander, coordinated with Rhodes to get his Soldiers out into the community.
"Sgt. Romain, one of the noncommissioned officers in my company had been coming out here and volunteering," Breland said. "I got wind of it and said, 'Hey Sgt. Romain, let's link up with Command Sgt. Maj. Rhodes and bring the whole company out here."
Hammack's residence was in disrepair, and approximately 50 Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade worked to repair it. Hammack stayed with long-time friend Sharon Watson, who forbade her from seeing the work in progress.
Hammack was visibly emotional at the sight of the repairs.
"I am overwhelmed with all the generosity of Warrior Outreach and my friends and neighbors," Hammack said. "I had no idea (my home) could be so good. They've done an excellent job; I can't thank everybody enough."
The Soldiers remodeled nearly all of Hammock's home to include a new kitchen, appliances, floors, bathroom, tub and bedroom.
"The life of a Soldier can be difficult and tedious at times, and you do the same thing day in and day out," Romain said. "This gives them an opportunity to give back to the community and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day."
Spc. Drake Bobay, B Company, said the opportunity to remodel the home was a great team building experience for the Soldiers volunteering their time to the event.
"After a deployment, we have all grown close together and this just brings something we can all do as a team," Bobay said. "Since we are all volunteering, it really does boost our morale and (we) grow together as a team."
The 3rd Brigade has been actively involved with its surrounding community and plans to continue its outreach in the future.
"When I took command, one of my visions was to do something in the community every quarter," Breland said. "Next quarter, we've already got the contacts and we'll come out and to help out again. To help people, that's what we're in business for. We need to keep getting Soldiers out there so they can do great things for the community."