News: Soldiers build homes, develop minds
Story by Sgt. Jonathan Thibault
FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Helping the community is nothing new for Soldiers from the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, who volunteered to build homes to help develop the minds of elementary schoolchildren in the Front Range community, April 25.
Ten Soldiers from Company B, 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th CAB, volunteered to help build homes in Fountain in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
"I've been doing this for more than four years and it's always nice to see our military help out," said Gary Blake, Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor. "The CAB Soldiers are always welcome to come back and they are always a great group. Without them and without volunteers, this would not get done, and we appreciate them for volunteering."
Some Soldiers have personal reasons for volunteering and appreciate the chance to help out as much as they can.
"I love to volunteer and take every chance I can to get out into the community to help," said Spc. Amber Wood, radio and communications security repairer, 404th ASB. "My love for volunteering grew when I helped out in a soup kitchen in Korea. Helping build homes gave me another chance to continue volunteering and help those in need."
In addition to building houses, 30 Soldiers volunteered to mentor children and help run the Prairie Heights Elementary School field day in Pueblo.
"We volunteer to mentor children on a weekly basis," said Spc. Captoria Pointer, avionic and survivability equipment repairer, Company B, 404th ASB, 4th CAB, 4th Inf. Div. "Today we got to help out with their field day. This is our second year doing this, and now children know our Soldiers by name."
The PHES faculty appreciated the help and roles taken on by the 404th Soldiers.
"This is my first year having the Soldiers help," said Susan Konrad, a 2nd grade teacher. "I learned quickly to plan my day around having the Soldiers help. We love them and they are Family to us."
PHES's students look forward to 4th CAB Soldiers visiting over the next year and hope to continue building their strong bonds with them.
"The kids have truly connected with the Soldiers and respond to them very well," said Dr. Grant Schmidt the school's principal. "We need the additional help, and the Soldiers are great role models for the children. The (relationships) between the Soldiers, children and their parents have strengthened over the last two years, making the mentoring more effective."
The CAB's command supports volunteering and looks for chances to build better relationships in the communities.
"The 404th ASB command wanted to create an outreach program in support of building the CAB's culture of selfless service," said Capt. Jill Seidel, production control officer, Company B, 404th ASB. "I believe this is a great way to get involved with the community. Volunteering inspires Soldiers and allows them the opportunities to help out where they can."