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Wounded Warriors help build community

17th Public Affairs Department

Published: 12:27PM August 15th, 2013
Wounded Warriors help build community

Sgt. Memory E. Payne

Staff Sgt. Mark Mina paints a house for Habitat for Humanity’s Tillicum project Aug. 6. This is Mina’s second year volunteering with the organization and he encouraged his transitioning Soldiers to give back too.

Go figure.

Members of the all-voluntary U.S. military find ways in their spare time to do what comes naturally — serving others by serving their community. Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion at JBLM volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help with an ongoing project to build five houses, six townhouses and one duplex in nearby Tillicum Aug. 6 to 8.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing. Recipients help build their own houses by investing “sweat equity.” They must volunteer 500 hours helping construct homes in the community, said Sue Potter, director of development and communications at Habitat for Humanity Tacoma/Pierce County.

Potter also encouraged veterans to apply for one of a few homes set aside by Habitat for Humanity “in every community” for them.

The WTB provides Soldiers going through a medical evaluation board a place to receive the medical care they need while preparing to transition into the civilian workforce. Coping with injuries and illnesses can be stressful for them.

“This is like their therapy, you see them stress free and using teamwork,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Mina, a squad leader with A Company, Warrior Transition Battalion.

Mina and fellow cadre members from the WTB came out to support their Soldiers and give back to those who support Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This is Mina’s second year volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Last time he learned to roof.

“This year I’m learning how to paint a house,” he said.

Mina is not the only volunteer learning valuable skills while giving back.

“As a homeowner, it’s nice to get the education and knowledge to help myself,” said Spc. Jubar McDaniel, a mail clerk with WTB.

Mina said Soldiers in transition benefit from being able to help the civilian community; this is especially the case when Soldiers can assist in the specific area where they plan to live after their service.