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Wed, Jun 15, 2011

Angels (Temporarily) Trade Sticks For Hammers

Navy Jet Team Helps Build Futures With Pensacola, FL, Habitat For Humanity

Members of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's flight demonstration squadron, joined forces with Pensacola Habitat for Humanity members to install headers, doors and windows on houses in a Habitat subdivision at Camshire Meadows, Pensacola, FL, June 10. According to Rachael Cox, volunteer services manager for Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, having the military volunteers is a big help and the organization appreciates what the service members bring to the effort.

The importance of that effort isn't lost on the Sailors. "Working with Habitat for Humanity is a great experience knowing we are building homes that people in our community really need. It feels good to do this work. Plus, it's the right thing to do," said squadron team member Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class John Phillips. "A significant portion of the units in this development will be built by volunteers. And with the subdivision being so close to (NAS Pensacola), as an additional blessing, we get a lot of military volunteers here," said Cox.

The Camshire Meadows subdivision, owned by Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, will ultimately consist of 114 units, built in partnership with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a federal housing recovery program established to help communities suffering from foreclosures and abandoned properties. Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is building more than 240 additional units in the Escambia/Santa Rosa area.

"The military volunteers are often available during the work week which helps out a lot because that's when it is most difficult to get volunteers from the community to come out. We couldn't do this without the military volunteers," said Cox. "Plus, it's pretty neat to work side-by-side with the Blue Angels."

The Blue Angels 2011 show season is back in full swing, but team members regularly volunteer in the local community when they are not out of town at an air show.

ANN Salutes Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Russell C. Tafuri

FMI: www.blueangels.navy.mil, www.pensacolahabitat.org

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