Habitat for Humanity
By Senior Airman Leon Bussey, 164th Airlift Wing
/ Published December 06, 2015
MEMPHIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The 164th Mission Support Group volunteered in support of the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis Oct. 15, 2015 and for Heroes Build Day Sept.18.
Twenty seven members of the 164th MSG, alongside more than 58 other volunteers donated many hours' worth of their time to help with the constructions of homes in various stages of development.
"The area that they are working on is an area right over by the base," said Maj. Janell Lott, civil engineering officer for the 164th MSG. "All the homes were in various stages of construction, and I think we worked on a total of six."
Lott had previous experience with working with Habitat for Humanity through her civilian employer. So when Col. Andy Trautman, the MSG commander, tasked Lott with heading up the volunteer opportunity she knew where to start.
"He (Trautman) wanted to do an activity that assisted a veteran," said Lott. "I knew that sometimes they had veterans coming through the program, so I reached out to my point of contact for the Habitat for Humanity."
Trautman's vision of this opportunity developed during his time at Air War College in Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
"When I was at War College, one of the things we did there was we found a vet that was in the community there, that needed assistance and we worked with Habitant to do that," said Trautman. "Once we discovered that individual, over the course of weeks we completely tore out his kitchen, all the flooring, and one of the bathrooms."
"We did a great thing for this individual and that made me think about why we can't we do that here," said Trautman.
It is the goal of the Tennessee Air National Guard to have a presence in the community, and from the efforts of the members of the MSG have the 164th Airlift Wing on the right track.
"The guard cares," said Trautman. "We care about each other, we care about securing our nation and we care about our community."
Habitat homes are homes that low-income families purchase at a zero percent interest rate in exchange for them to dedicate a certain percentage of their time to either building their home or working on a home for another family.