The 301st lends helping hands for Habitat
By Senior Airman Jeremy Roman, 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2013
Fort Worth, TX -- The 301st Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the Fort Worth community's voluntary efforts came together under one roof on April 20, 2013, as part of the Habitat for Humanity Program.
Master Sergeant Del Schoonover, 301st Fighter Wing AMXS weapons section chief, has directed the organizational efforts to get the 301st Fighter Wing more involved within its community.
"We are trying to do it on a regular basis," he said. "I've gotten to know the Habitat directors quite well and we are looking to do one a month."
This local Habitat for Humanity organization is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and covers Tarrant, Parker, Johnson and Wise counties. It's been around for nearly 25 years and has built more than 450 homes. The home the 301st AMXS is working on will belong to a citizen named Chris.
"Chris is originally from South Africa," Schoonover said. "He is contributing some of the 250 hours here in order to get the house."
Chris wasn't the only grateful one. Doug Christianson, Habitat for Humanity project manager, was also pleased with the 301st effort.
"They're not as experienced necessarily ... but were willing to do anything we asked of them," said Christianson. "These volunteers are here because they want to be here and we appreciate that ... plus they're use to taking orders."
Despite the jobs assigned early that morning, being a part of Habitat for Humanity meant something different to everyone involved.
"I love helping out and giving back to people," said Airman First Class Steven Ayala, 301st avionics specialist for Detachment 457. "It's a good feeling getting to work with Chris and seeing the reaction on his face."
"I enjoy the teamwork and the bonding that goes on between the Active Duty and Reservists on the team," Schoonover added. "It gives us the chance to see each other outside of work."
Christianson also appreciated their integrity.
"When Master Sgt. Schoonover tells me he has 14 volunteers ... he shows up with 14 volunteers," he said. "They are always welcomed back. We love this group."
Even though the house will remain, the volunteers will be taking a part of it with them.
"To be able to come out and actually see what you're giving back materialize," said Senior Airman Will Howell, 301st AMXS specialist. "You've got the benefit of feeling good about giving back but also that instant satisfaction of, 'Man, I did that!'"
This has been the second straight month of participation for the 301st FW's AMXS. For this month's project, they were involved in actually building the house. Their first project was a Preserve a Home project, which dealt mostly with renovations to an existing house on the same street. But there is little time for rest because the next Preserve a Home project is May 18th and that's just fine to Schoonover.
"We don't mind giving back to the community; after all they give for us."