By Spc. Ben Fox, 3rd BCT, 1st Cav, Div. Public AffairsFebruary 13, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - Combat troops who served their country for more than a year in Iraq could not be asked to give any more than they already have, but one company of selfless Soldiers continues to give.
Soldiers with Company B "Bone Crushers," 1st Squadron 12th Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, volunteered to work with Habitat for Humanity Feb. 6 and 7.
The Soldiers helped rebuild two houses for low-income families near Fort Hood.
Soldiers don't always have excellent reputations around post, so this project helps build credibility in the Fort Hood units, said Spc. David Thompson
"It lets them know we are here and we will help," he said. "Plus the people who (own) the house, respect us more."
Spc. Nicholas Towler said in Iraq, many of the results were long term; so many Soldiers didn't get to experience the changes, but working hands-on in their neighborhood was different.
"Whenever you do something for your community, you can see (the results right away)," said Towler.
The families benefit substantially from the Soldiers' volunteer work, he continued. The concept is to give lower-income families a chance to live in a sturdy house and a safe neighborhood, he said.
"It gives them a good start on life," Towler said.
To work on the house, the troops did not need any experience with construction, just the will to help, said Towler.
"It doesn't take a genius to pass some tools around," he added.
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Ceniceros said the Soldiers benefit from more than just community relations.
"They became a little bit more humble," said Ceniceros.
"We helped out a lot of people in Iraq, why can't we help out the American people'" he asked, encouraging his troops with the same philosophy.
Thompson said the volunteer work also helped the Soldiers who are still having trouble readjusting to life back in the states after just returning from a deployment by being selfless in a social setting.
"It helps us out as much as it helps them out," he said.
With the success that his troops have had with the projects, Ceniceros encouraged others to do the same.
"It would be great for other units to get involved," he said.