By 1ST LT. KASIE KING
19th Engineer Battalion
Volunteers from 1st Platoon, 76th Engineer Company (Vertical), 19th Engineer Battalion, teamed up with Hardin County Habitat for Humanity to bring the joy and security of home to two families.
Soldiers from the unit led by 2nd Lt. Marcie Nordt and Sgt. 1st Class Romeo Acker, volunteered for three days on a bedroom and shower addition on the Engle Family home in Radcliff as well as the future home for the Clark Family in Elizabethtown.
In Radcliff, the Soldiers of 1st Platoon worked on the addition of a bedroom and shower for Chad Engle.
“The troops have exceeded my greatest expectations with their work on Chad’s room,” said Larry Mengel, Habitat Home Repair Leader. “This is a very cohesive group. They worked well together, got their heads in the process and did superb work.”
Chad suffers from cerebral palsy which he developed at 10 days old. As a child, Chad loved the shower. He would kick his feet and laugh at shower-time every day. Chad, now 14 years old, has outgrown the existing shower-facilities in the Engle home, making it difficult for his grandmother, Carol Engle, to help him in and out of the shower each day.
“It’s the little things people take for granted, like being able to get in and out of the shower. You don’t realize what a privilege it is until it’s gone,” Carol Engle said. “It’s a godsend and answered prayer for the Soldiers to help build Chad a new room and shower. We are truly blessed and thankful for their help.”
The excitement of the construction and the presence of the Soldiers inspired Chad to take a trip outside to visit the Soldiers.
“What a great opportunity for him to be with such a great group of young people. The troops should know they are making a real difference in Chad’s life. The troops are building the room where he will spend most of the rest of his life. The room will be a big step up from what he has now. They should all be proud of their contribution,” Larry Mengel said after taking a picture with Chad and the Soldiers.
The efforts of the platoon contributed 144 hours of labor and $4,320 in construction costs to the project.
In Elizabethtown, the platoon contributed work to help complete final framing, installation of trusses, and installation of sheeting for the roof system on the future home for the Clark Family. Scott Turner, Executive Director for Hardin County Habitat for Humanity, discussed the labor intensive tasks.
“These three items are a tremendous amount of work if we did not have a group here. So, we very much appreciate the help.”
Tina Clark expressed gratitude toward the Soldiers of 1st Platoon.
“This is our home. We love (this) group. (They) are just like family. I have been going through health conditions and to see them was just the cavalry to (our) rescue. We love and appreciate all the help and kindness.”
First Platoon contributed $3,500 in labor costs to the home and helped to put the project ahead of its construction schedule with completion now projected for November of this year.