USA: Sailors from Precommissioning Unit Arlington Assist with Habitat for Humanity Project


Sailors from Precommissioning Unit Arlington (LPD 24) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads with the construction of a four-home townhouse Oct. 15.

The nine-member Arlington team, led by Cryptologic Technician Collections Seaman Jarad Krum, joined 19 other volunteers and performed yard work, structurally reinforced porches, and thermally insulated the homes so they will pass energy-efficiency tests.

“I like the work Habitat for Humanity does to provide affordable housing for needy families,” said Krum, who has worked on about 10 similar projects in the past. “I’m really happy to see so many Arlington Sailors show up for this on a Saturday.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1976, and helped build more than 400,000 affordable houses and served more than 2 million people around the world.

Work on the townhouse on Nelms Lane began in April, and should be complete by late December. According to AmeriCorps national volunteer coordinator Kelly Beardon, working for Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, about 10,000 hours of labor will go into these homes before families can move in.

“This organization does not function without volunteers,” she said. “We depend on volunteers not just to do much of the work for these homes, but also to bring in more volunteers.”

Kiska Morris, a future resident of the townhouse, was thrilled to see so many volunteers on hand to make her dream of being a homeowner soon become a reality.

“It’s a good feeling to have so many people come out here for this,” said Morris, a single mother of two who works as a medical assistant at Sentara Leigh Hospital. “I want to provide a safe place for my boys to live that we can call our own.”

Sailors also cut grass, caulked doors, windows and seams, inventoried and engraved power tools, and fire blocked the attics with sheets and foam.

“We did great today because of our enthusiasm to help the community,” Krum said.

This was the first time Information Systems Technician Seaman Kimberly Montgomery has participated in a Habitat for Humanity project, and said it won’t be her last.

“I enjoy helping others in the community and being able to give something back,” Montgomery said. “I liked seeing how this townhouse brought perfect strangers together, and we worked together to accomplish something worthwhile.”

Under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., Arlington combines 21st century amphibious shipbuilding and war fighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft, and will be capable of taking nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines into harm’s way. The amphibious transport dock ship is named for Arlington County, Va. in commemoration of the 184 victims and heroes who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

Arlington is the eighth in Navy’s San Antonio class of ships, designed to be the most survivable amphibious vessels ever put to sea. The third in the U.S. fleet to bear the name, Arlington will be commissioned in 2012 and home ported in Norfolk, Va.

Source: navy, October 19, 2011