‘Straight and Stalwart’ Soldiers help community, build camaraderie
Sgt. Victor Everhart Jr.,
3rd BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:
Improving the community always makes a difference, but building camaraderie and team work within a unit while helping the community is an added bonus.
Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment’s Bravo Company did just that by helping the local community build homes for less fortunate and struggling families.
“Just being able to help people is enough for me,” said Eric Hanson, the Lower Valley Housing Organization construction supervisor. “We are a grantee that uses funds through USDA and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to help low income families own a home, while potentially teaching them a skill that they can take into the job sector.
“We get them to help with the construction of their home which dramatically drives the price down and makes the home more affordable and gives participants a feeling of pride,” said Hanson, “Which turns out to be my favorite part of this job – handing families the house keys for the first time and seeing the looks in their eyes, knowing their sweat and determination helped build a home, and learned some skills they can take with them for life.”
Other than learning new skills, Soldiers get to spend time with fellow Soldiers and build camaraderie while working in an other-than-usual facet.
“I think it’s great we get to work together and help the residents of El Paso at the same time,” said Pfc. John Knoble, an infantryman assigned to Bravo Company. “We are working to help the Fort Bliss community improve, but I also get to communicate with Soldiers from the other platoons, and share time with friends I don’t see as much during the duty day.”
Enhancing teamwork and building camaraderie are support structures of the Army; opportunities such as the one given to the Straight and Stalwart Soldiers and Fort Bliss, are a way to become active and helpful in the community.
“Our guys spent 10 hard months in Afghanistan fighting our enemies, so being able to get them some relaxed time while helping the community was a no brainer,” said 2nd Lt. Curtis Clerkley, a platoon leader assigned to Bravo Company. “I believe getting them out doing something positive, while breaking the daily grind of a regular work day can only bring our group closer and make us more cooperative as a group.”
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