Habitat for Humanity project allows ‘Devil’ Brigade Soldiers to lend hand
From left, Sgt. Christian Erichsen, Spc. Kyle Fadenrecht, Spc. Roberto Rosales and Spc. Benjamin Almquist, combat operation liaison team members, HHC, 1st ABCT, remove a damaged one-by-eight-foot board from the roof of a home during the Habitat for Humanity ReStore project June 7 to 8 in Manhattan. Photo by: Staff Sgt. Bernhard Lashleyleidner, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Staff Sgt. Bernhard Lashleyleidner
1ST ABCT PUBLIC AFFAIRS
MANHATTAN – Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division helped Habitat for Humanity restore the roof on a home June 7.
About 17 Fort Riley Soldiers spent the weekend sweating and sharing laughs as they removed and replaced the roof on a Manhattan home severely damaged two weeks ago when several strong storms hit the area.
"We don't normally do projects like this," said James Sherwood, manager for the Habitat ReStore in Manhattan, adding that Habitat for Humanity normally builds one or two homes a year for Families in need.
"The Family contacted me because they know I do volunteer work in the community, and that I work with Habitat for Humanity," he said. "I told them I would contact the Habitat board and get permission to do the work."
Once the board gave its blessing, Sherwood said he sent the word out to volunteers, like 1st Lt. Mario Rey, combat operation liaison team platoon leader, 1st ABCT, who he has worked with in the past on demolition projects on post and in the Habitat ReStore for help replacing the roof on the home of an elderly couple.
"We pitched the idea to my boss Capt. Bryan Sanders, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, 1st ABCT, and the rest of the team. Everyone liked the idea," Rey said. "We have a little division between Fort Riley and the city of Manhattan, and I thought this would be nice to have Manhattan residents see Fort Riley Soldiers working out in the community."
"I am trying to convince the board to do more projects like this because they have a great impact on the community, and we can help more than one Family a year," Sherwood added.
It's about having fun as well, Rey said.
"It is not about recording hours, but having fun and taking pride in the project. Once you become so immersed in the project, you do not think or record the hours spent helping others," he said.
Working on projects like these also helps the Soldiers learn about volunteerism, according to Staff Sgt. Bryan Nelson, 1st ABCT aviation element noncommissioned officer in charge.
"This is a values thing," Nelson said. "I love being able to help others and teach my Soldiers the importance of giving back to the community."