March 26, 2009

Virginia Guard Soldiers help Habitat for Humanity

By Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

BLACKSTONE, Va. — With hammers swinging, saws cutting and drills screwing, 10 Soldiers of the Virginia Army National Guard gave back to the local community by volunteering their time on March 18 to help a local family build a home in Blackstone through support from the Southside Area Habitat for Humanity.

Sgt. Derrick Argro, a chaplain's assistant, screws shelves into place while helping out Habitat for Humanity in Blackstone Va. Argro was one of several Soldiers who took time out of their schedules to help assist in the project. (Photo by Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The Soldiers from across the commonwealth showed up at the corner of Dillard and Jackson roads to help build the home for a family deemed worthy by the non-profit organization.

Helping out in the community is an important aspect of National Guard life. It helps show the citizens of the commonwealth that the Guard does more than just fight wars in the global war on terrorism, according to Chaplain (Maj.) J.D. Moore.

“We’re able to handle both theaters, the war on terrorism and local community projects,” said Moore.

The Soldiers had a good time helping out a family in need and giving back to the community.

Master Sgt. David Rowe, assistant Inspector General of Virginia, aligns a piece of baseboard to be cut and installed in a house he volunteered to help build in support of Habitat for Humanity. Rowe spent several hours working on the baseboards to ensure they were perfect for the new home. (Photo by Army Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs.)

“I’m having a blast,” Said Sgt. Derrick Argro, a chaplain’s assistant. “It’s good to see the behind the scenes concept of how things are put together and it’s for a good cause, so it really feels good.”

This is not the first project the Virginia Guard has worked on with Habitat for Humanity. The state has also worked on several projects in Richmond for Habitat and several Soldiers have even been volunteering at the recreational therapy unit at the Children’s Hospital in Richmond, according to Lt. Col. Russell Woodlief, staff judge advocate for the Joint Force Headquarters of Virginia.

The Soldiers who showed up for the project did so of their own free-will. They were not command directed to show up for the event. If the Soldiers are full-time employees of the National Guard they had to sacrifice a day of leave to help out with the event, according to Woodlief, who helped organize the event.

Another volunteer day for Habitat for Humanity will be scheduled again in the next few months for anyone who is interested, but missed out his time, said Woodlief.

If you are interested in volunteering for upcoming community service events please email Lt. Col. Woodlief at Russell.woodlief@us.army.mil for more information.

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