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Company grade officers partner with Habitat for Humanity to build home

1st Lt. Sandra Martinez, 49th Comptroller Squadron, readies a tile before it's installed into a home the CGOC is helping build with Habitat for Humanity. The home is in Tularosa and is scheduled to be completed by the end of February.

1st Lt. Sandra Martinez, 49th Comptroller Squadron, readies a tile before it's installed into a home the CGOC is helping build with Habitat for Humanity. The home is in Tularosa and is scheduled to be completed by the end of February.

The CGOC began building this home with Habitat for Humanity last summer. Here, lieutenants Kathryn Maitrejean, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron and Nate DeRohan, 49th Security Forces Squadron, lay tile in a bedroom.

The CGOC began building this home with Habitat for Humanity last summer. Here, lieutenants Kathryn Maitrejean, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron and Nate DeRohan, 49th Security Forces Squadron, lay tile in a bedroom.

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. -- Getting in on the ground floor of a project is a skill members of the Holloman Company Grade Officers Council took literally Jan. 13 when they laid tile in a Tularosa home being constructed by Habitat for Humanity.

The CGOC took on the challenge of building the five-bedroom home last summer. During multiple weekend sessions since, they have helped construct various portions of the home including the roof, walls, door frames and flooring.

The home is on track to be finished by February, so a family of seven can move in, said Mr. Ron Rardin, the Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor overseeing the building process.

"This project wouldn't be possible without support from volunteers from the CGOC," Mr. Rardin said.

Since CGOC members are typically more familiar with OODA Loops than construction techniques, Mr. Rardin instructs them on how to properly complete tasks.

"I just have to show them once and they can do it," he said. "They come out here with heart, which makes all the difference."

1st Lt. Sandra Martinez, from the 49th Comptroller Squadron, is one of the CGOC volunteers who has helped build the home. Like most of her peers, she had no prior experience with construction.

"At first you don't think you can help, but as time goes on you learn," she said. "It's worth it to help people and give a family a chance to have a home."

Habitat for Humanity stresses that the homes it builds are a "hand up, not a handout," explained Mr. Rardin. Families who qualify purchase the home at cost with a no interest loan carried by the non-profit organization.

Since labor is often one of the most expensive elements during construction, volunteers make the homes affordable for purchase.

This is the second home that the CGOC has helped build in the local area, said 2nd Lt. Kathryn Maitrejean, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron. But the first that the group has taken a part in from start to finish.

"Habitat for Humanity is a great opportunity for our folks to get involved in the community and truly see what a difference we can make," Lieutenant Maitrejean said.

Habitat for Humanity's goal in the Alamogordo area is to finish seven homes, including the one being built with help from the CGOC, by the end of 2007.