News: Warriors' Warehouse helps soldiers turn houses into homes
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Soldiers, Fort Carson Leadership and community partners gathered at Fort Carson Building 302, for a ceremony to mark the grand opening of the Warriors’ Warehouse, Nov. 1.
The Warriors’ Warehouse is a redistribution center that supplies soldiers with free quality items to make their house a home.
“All soldiers (sergeant) and below are eligible to come here and access new household items,” said Ranya Kelly, founder and executive director, Redistribution Center, Warriors’ Warehouse. “We also have other areas that are specifically geared for emergencies, and are available to any rank; but they have to be referred to us.”
Soldiers have a wide variety of goods to choose from, to include: dishes, utensils, towels, bedding, furniture, electronics and baby items.
“Eligible soldiers can be single or married, and are allowed to come in once a month and get five items,” said Kelly. “They can’t continuously get the same five items every month, so we keep cards to make sure everyone’s dealt with fairly.”
Similar services, like the Army Community Service lending closet, which temporarily loans household items to military families, are available throughout the Army, however Fort Carson is currently the only post with a Warriors’ Warehouse.
“This (warehouse) is meant to give soldiers a little bit of a helping hand, we’re not here to enable them,” said Kelly. “We’re here to assist them and get some things to make their Family a little bit better.”
Spc. Todd Crow, petroleum supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Rear Detachment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, said he was referred to Warriors’ Warehouse through the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program.
“When soldiers are in financial hardship, have been injured, or other situations like that, they can get referred here and get the help they need,” said Crow. “I’ve already been helped out a lot, through my leadership and services like Warriors’ Warehouse, so we’re grateful.”
Major General Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, along with brigade leaders attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“The warehouse is very nice; junior soldiers don’t make as much as senior leaders, they haven’t financially planned, or have other factors in their personal lives that make them live from paycheck to paycheck,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Woods, senior enlisted leader, 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).
Leaders can use their command financial planners to help soldiers build a better budget and financial plan, so soldiers only need to use the warehouse to get through some of the lean months, said Woods.
After the ribbon was cut, leaders and soldiers toured the facility to see what items are available.
“We need to think about their kids and wives, and make sure they are taken care of,” said Woods. “I think this helps the Army-family concept a lot, because sometimes some of the young families don’t really understand that by taking care of the family, they are taking care of the soldier.”
Families need to understand that leaders are here for them as well, and not just for the soldiers, said Woods.
“I will be passing information about Warriors’ Warehouse through our command financial managers and noncommissioned officers, so they can pass it down through our battalion and companies,” said Woods.
Soldiers can go down to the Warriors’ Warehouse on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.