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This page was captured from the GOSPORT online newspaper, April 24, 1998 issue.

Leathernecks hammer for humanity

Story, photos by Scott D. Hallford
Associate Editor



Armed with esprit d’corps and tools, about 20 Marines from Aviation Maintenance Squadron One linked up with members from Habitat for Humanity April 18 to help build a house for a less fortunate Pensacola family.

The group of Leathernecks began at approximately 8 a.m. and within a very short time had the roof on the house located on “G” Street.

Master Sgt. Mike McCormick, NCOIC of the Aviation Life Support School, said the Marines have been involved with Habitat for Humanity and other volunteer projects for the community since the great increase in Marine Corps personnel here two years ago.

Fourteen of the volunteers were students, most of them in their late teens and early 20s with no experience in building houses.

McCormick said they are getting around an overall lack of experience by having permanent party staff and instructors learning more about construction so there will always be some continuity with experience. “That way we (staff and instructors) will be able to go on a job site and know exactly what needs to be done and can direct the less experienced,” he said. “That will also free up some of the Habitat for Humanity workers to perhaps be somewhere else where their experience is needed.”

On this particular day, the Marines finished the roof up to the point of being shingled and went through the inside and put up interior supports, roofing panels for the porch are, put wedges in rafters to keep them apart and to provide support. “When we left all that needed to be done was electrical, plumbing and dry walling, plus the windows and doors,” said McCormick.

McCormick said all the volunteers have a sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment after they’ve helped build a home for someone.

In another community project, the Marines will be conducting a cleanup at Pensacola Beach May 16 involving about 200 personnel and an environmental cleanup group is being formed to clean various parts of Pensacola.

 hammer1.jpg Pfc. Abimael Arredondo and Pfc. Kemp Phelps hammer in support boards for the roof.  hammer2.jpg There was plenty of work for all the Marine volunteers and Habitat for Humanity representatives as they worked on a house on G Street.