E 5-52 Air Defense Artillery: ‘The Executioners’ help rebuild home
Staff Sgt. Norman Llamas,
11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs:
Knowing the Army Values is one thing, but living up to them is entirely another. Soldiers with Battery E, 5th Battalion 52nd Air Defense Artillery do know what it is to live up to the Army Values. For the past two Fridays, Soldiers from Btry. E, have been volunteering their time and energy to re-build a home that was donated to the Humane Society of El Paso by a retired Soldier who recently passed away.
The Soldiers, along with members of the Humane Society, have been working hard since the beginning of the project, when they began by cleaning out the entire house. Next, they ripped out all the carpeting, cleared off all the walls and scrubbed the entire house of all that was deemed useless or trash.
“The house was structurally sound but very dated,” said Victor Morales, a civil engineer and project manager.
“The Soldiers helped with the demolition and clean-up of the entire property prior to getting the house painted and the floors being replaced because they were badly damaged.
“We really appreciate all the hard work the Soldiers put into this project,” said Morales. “Working with the Soldiers was a lot of fun and they all were very enthusiastic while they helped out.”
For some of the Soldiers, this isn’t the first time they volunteer in their community.
“I started volunteering for the Humane Society a while back, helping out with animals at the animal shelter,” said Sgt. Jose NievesMendez, a platoon sergeant, with Btry.E.
“I approached the manager at the Humane Society about the possibility of volunteering as a group with my unit. The manager mentioned the home remodeling project and I promptly brought it up to my chain of command,” said NievesMendez. “The commander and first sergeant agreed that the entire unit would volunteer and here we are.”
Many of the neighbors noticed all the Soldiers working hard at cleaning out the property. Many of them even stopped by to thank the Soldiers and also shared with them some of their stories from when they were in the service.
“It’s amazing, the work the Soldiers did,” said Michael Lausen, operations manager with the Humane Society of El Paso. “These Soldiers really live up to the Army Values and Warrior Ethos by volunteering in their community.”
“Once all the renovations are done, we will be able to sell the house for far more then it was valued before all the work was done to it,” said Lausen. “After all the work the Soldiers did, the house went up in price by at least $40,000.
“Thank you to all the Soldiers, this is what being a community is all about,” said Lausen.
“I thought it was a great thing we did,” said Pvt. Jeffrey Jensen, an air defense battle system operator, Btry. E.
“When I heard of the project,” said Jensen, “I quickly volunteered for it. I plan on coming back to help, even if it’s on the weekend.”
It wasn’t just the Soldiers that were out there working hard. The unit commander and first sergeant as well as officers and noncommissioned officers were all lending a hand out there.
“It was a good opportunity for us all and also a good chance for the younger Soldiers to learn that it’s not always about them, said 1st Sgt. Jimmie Wilson.
“We all need to help out in our community, because the community takes care of us as well.”
“I have always been a big advocate of volunteerism,” said Capt. Michael Patchus, commander, Btry. E. “Being in the Army isn’t simply putting on a uniform and deploying.
“We will continue to help out in the community. We look forward to volunteering with other organizations as well as the Humane Society,” said Patchus.
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