MIAMI " The United States Southern Command Standing Joint Force Headquarters participated in a community service event recently in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami.

Habitat for Humanity International is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.

Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat and its homeowner families have built or rehabilitated more than 400,000 houses. A nonprofit, nondenominational Christian housing ministry, Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build together in partnership.

The SJFHQ Commander, Colonel Lee Walters, selected this project as the venue for a team building and community support event on the recommendation of Lieutenant Colonel Jason Crowe, a long time Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Under the supervision of the Habitat Staff, thirteen members of the SJFHQ installed roofing shingles and dry wall for more than six hours in the heat and humidity to bring a local family’s dream for a home that much closer to reality. The team included members of all branches of the military with both Command Support Unit (CSU) and Deployable Expert Staff (DES) personnel participating.

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Simkins noted that it was “good time well spent” and Colonel Walters similarly commented that it was “hard work but very rewarding.”

Carlos Beron, Volunteer Coordinator, came to the sight to express his appreciation for the close relationship between Habitat for Humanity and the military.

In addition to USSOUTHCOM, the USCG 7th District recently supported the “Blitz Build” in April to complete 17 homes.

Beron stated that the military brings a strong focus and work ethic to these projects and looks forward to continuing the partnership between SOUTHCOM and Habitat for Humanity. This seems more likely as service members learn more about the organization.

As Major Shane Hilden put it, “I definitely enjoyed myself today. I may have to give up a fishing day once in a while to do this in the future,” which is a significant concession given his well known reputation as an avid fisherman.