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    Georgia Guardsmen Pitch in to Build a Vet’s Home

    Group photo

    Photo By Maj. Charles Emmons | Brian Quinones (center) stands with Georgia National Guard volunteers in front of the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Charles Emmons 

    Georgia National Guard

    Twenty-eight volunteers that consisted of Georgia Army and Air National Guardsmen, family members and civilians donated their time and effort to work on a new home for former Marine and Purple Heart recipient, Brian Quinones.

    In the eighth week of a nine-week project, the volunteers painted and caulked surfaces and applied trim around cabinets and fitted molding on baseboards of the structure. The Austell, Ga. residence is one of the Northwest Atlanta Habitat for Humanity “Houses for Heroes” projects that provides a house for an eligible veteran.

    “It’s amazing,” said Quinones, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran. “People are giving up their Saturday to build a house for someone they’ve never met before.”

    The experience levels of the volunteers on the site ranged from skilled craftsmen to some individuals that were picking up a tool for the first time. For those in attendance, reasons for helping varied as well.

    “I have always enjoyed working on houses and this is an opportunity to come and do some good for a veteran,” said Georgia’s Deputy Adjutant General, Joe Ferrero, who was on his second home build project with the team.

    Sergeant First Class Jason Behret, a platoon sergeant in the Columbus-based 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquarters came with his wife Shelby to pay it forward to the veteran community in response to the past assistance they’ve received from Georgia Guard organizations.

    “The (Georgia National Guard) Family Support Group and yellow ribbon have been incredible the past couple years for us,” said Behret. “We wanted to give back and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to come and help out another vet.”

    In addition to the day’s volunteers, the program requires homeowners to spend at least 100 hours of “sweat equity” in building their house, said house leader, Tom Simcox, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. The homeowner is also required to complete specialty courses and pay an interest-free mortgage on the home.

    “It’s been a really cool experience for me to be a part of the build as well as being able to own a home,” said Quinones, who has also been working on the 1,400 square foot home for more than four weeks. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.”

    The week-eight build day was sponsored by Lockheed Martin, while Ga. National Guard and Immediate Credit Recovery provided volunteers to join the Habitat for Humanity project.

    The new three-bedroom, two-bath home joins three other houses on the street built for veterans as well, which provides an additional sense of security for former service members like Brian.

    “I know somebody in this community has my back and they know I have their back,” said Quinones.



    Date Taken: 06.16.2018
    Date Posted: 06.16.2018 17:27
    Story ID: 281245
    Location: AUSTELL, GA, US 

    Web Views: 197
    Downloads: 0