JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Soldiers in Warrior Transition Battalions often find themselves on the receiving end of gratitude and a respectful 'thank you for your service.' More than 75 members of the Brooke Army Medical Center WTB wanted to pay it forward by teaming up with Habitat for Humanity, landscaping several homes in the Lenwood Heights housing area, Feb. 12.The landscaping activity was the first of its kind for BAMC's WTB as part of the unit's Adaptive Reconditioning Program. The program enhances holistic recovery by engaging wounded, ill and injured service members in ongoing, daily adaptive activities, based on their interest and ability. There are over 120 activities on the WTB's February program calendar, ranging from hiking, kayak fishing, trail biking, equine therapy, woodworking, archery, cooking and many others.ARP provides activities and competitive adaptive sport opportunities to all recovering service members to improve their overall quality of life. Wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans who use adaptive sports and other reconditioning activities as part of their rehabilitation process improve their self-image, self-esteem, leadership, camaraderie and overall quality of life.According to Dr. Margarette Shelton, occupational therapist at the WTB, the landscaping event was the brainchild of the battalion commander Lt. Col. Andrea Castillon. "She and I spoke extensively about helping Soldiers transition," explained Shelton. "One of the things she latched onto was paying it forward; getting Soldiers to contribute back to their communities. She thought it was a good opportunity for team-building, having cadre and Soldiers working together." Shelton said the WTB plans to do a large group activity once a quarter."Coordination was super easy (with Habitat for Humanity)," Shelton said. "We saw these houses as they were still being built. We came out with Capt. Joaquin Matias-Garcia our operations officer, and did a walk-around; got a sense of what would be needed, and did a risk assessment. Then it was just a matter of planning a date."Kersey Henderson, recreational therapist supporting adaptive reconditioning and Liza Murillo OT assistant, did the bulwark of organizing the activity for Shelton. "They've done a fantastic job," added Shelton. "To them goes the real credit."All of the landscaping equipment was provided by Habitat for Humanity, to include gloves to keep the volunteer's hands warm on a chilly San Antonio day. "There are a bunch of organizations and donors in the area who reach out and support these projects," Henderson explained. "It's good for us because we don't have to bring out anything but the manpower and the food."Besides paying it forward, volunteers actually get credit for their work in the community. "Not only do Soldiers and cadre get VMIS (Volunteer Management Information System) credit, but for the staff it is a day out of the office to see all of the hard work being done, relationships being built, and potential jobs that come from this activity." VMIS assists the Army Volunteer Corps manage dedicated volunteers and allows volunteers a way to track their hours, awards, trainings and certificates.Staff Sgt. Juan Ayala, Alpha Company, BAMC WTB heard about the event through the ARP. Ayala is interested in landscaping, and decided this activity might be a good way to learn. "There are a lot of ways to plant trees and start garden projects for when I potentially purchase a home," said Ayala.The San Antonio native likes the idea of giving back. "We are helping to put the pieces together for someone else," said Ayala. "That's a good feeling. It comes from the heart. No matter what you're going through, you can always reach deep down in your heart and, just like everyone else was there for you, you can be there for someone else."