Bolling Airmen volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
Senior Airman Gregory Benhase, 744th Communications Group, cuts a 2-by- 4 for a closet door frame for a Habitat for Humanity house Oct. 9 in Washington. Airman Benhase is a volunteer with the Air Force District of Washington Airmen of Distinction and helped with various projects throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dan DeCook)
Airmen of Distinction help build homes from the ground up

by Senior Airman Dan DeCook
11th Wing Public Affairs

10/10/2008 - BOLLING AFB, D.C.  -- Hammering nails, painting walls, shingling a roof, and framing houses was all in a day's work as members of the Airmen of Distinction from Bolling AFB volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization which seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. HFH builds homes from the ground up with help from volunteers, sponsorships, and grants. HFH employs very few full-time workers and relies heavily on volunteers to achieve its mission.

Airman 1st Class Krystie Martinez, Airman of Distinction secretary, coordinated with HFH the opportunity for Bolling Airmen to give back to their community. Airman Martinez and seven other members of the AOD spent the day working on everything from framework to installation of lighting fixtures.

"I'm so proud that we could be a part of this great cause", said A1C Martinez. "When the AOD started planning this, I never would have thought we would get some many Airmen to come out and help people they have never met."

When the Airmen arrived at the housing site they met with Teresa Hamm, assistant site supervisor, and were asked where they would like to help. The Airmen were then given tool belts, paint cans and safety briefings before heading to the houses.

"Our build site consists of 53 homes so it's great to get help from military members who already know how to take direction and are willing to work very hard," said Hamm. "Military members have a job that requires them to put their lives on the line, so for them to give up their time to help us, really proves their dedication to our country."

The Airmen started working at 8 a.m. and with the exception of a short lunch break, they continued to work with HFH members until 4 p.m. By the time the day ended two roofs were shingled, closets were installed, lighting fixtures were hung, and more than three rooms, including closets were painted.

"I was definitely sore by the end of day", said Airman 1st Class Tyler Poppinga, Air Force Honor Guard. "But that didn't matter, I felt great knowing that were helping HFH get closer to finishing the 53 houses on this site."

For more information about Habitat for Humanity click here to visit their website. To become a member of the Airmen of Distinction or for information about the AOD contact Senior Airman Tim Chacon at