This story was written from information contained in a press release written by Capt. Charlie Emmons, Georgia National Guard, and distributed by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
Twenty-eight volunteers from the Georgia Army and Air National Guards built a house in Austell, Georgia for Marine and Purple Heart recipient, Brian Quinones.
“It’s amazing,” said Quinones, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, in a press release from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. “People are giving up their Saturday to build a house for someone they’ve never met before.”
It was a nine-week effort, part of the Northwest Atlanta Habitat for Humanity “Houses for Heroes” project that provides houses for eligible veterans.
“I have always enjoyed working on houses and this is an opportunity to come and do some good for a veteran,” said Georgia’s Deputy Adjutant General, Joe Ferrero, who was on his second home build project with the team.
“The (Georgia National Guard) Family Support Group and yellow ribbon have been incredible the past couple years for us,” said Sergeant First Class Jason Behret, a platoon sergeant in the Columbus-based 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquarters. “We wanted to give back and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to come and help out another vet.”
According to Tom Simcox, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, the veteran has to spend at least 100 hours of “sweat equity” work with the volunteers in building the house, The new homeowner also has to complete specialty courses and to pay an interest-free mortgage on the home.
“It’s been a really cool experience for me to be a part of the build as well as being able to own a home,” said Quinones, who has also been working on the 1,400 square foot home for more than four weeks. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.”