The Corps of Engineers has a long history of community involvement, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Louisville District employees and Soldiers took part in several events to show support for the local community. Members of the Corps visited veterans at the local Veteran’s Administration Center, partnered with the local Habitat for Humanity to renovate a home and hosted an American Red Cross blood drive.
On Nov. 19, 2015, Louisville District Commander Col. Christopher Beck, accompanied by Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Commander Capt. Richard Timme, Senior Chief Christopher Burkhart, Army Sgt. 1st Class Portia Hall and Maj. Joseph Rosen, visited veterans receiving treatment at the VA Medical Center in Louisville. The veterans took the opportunity to swap stories, gather insight about current events and spoke with active duty service members. Leading by example, Beck said he would visit again in six months and was “grateful for all those who answered our nation’s call.”
Serving as the driving force behind the Habitat for Humanity community outreach event, Master Sgt. Kelvin France and Hall seized the initiative, bringing volunteerism and teamwork to the forefront of the district’s contracting division. On Nov. 21, 18 Soldiers and civilians met in Louisville’s downtown area in support of a Habitat for Humanity project, helping construct affordable housing for deserving families. During the morning shift, Louisville’s Corps employees helped load and transport frames to construct walls within a new home. The afternoon shift installed siding for a home nearing completion. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization working in partnership with volunteers to build simple, decent and affordable houses – without interest or profit – for people in need.
“Volunteering has always been very important me,” said France. “We volunteered when we joined the Army to serve our nation. We are simply extending our service at a local level so our community sees how much we care.”
The Thanksgiving holiday events culminated in an American Red Cross blood drive, hosted by the Louisville District. This year’s slogan was “Saving lives is as easy as pie!” and during the blood drive, volunteers successfully donated 87 units of blood.
“Performing community service fosters a relationship with the Louisville community and builds esprit de corps within the district,” said Beck. “We are very fortunate to have such generous volunteers and are enriched by their contributions to both the community and the Corps.”