Story and photo by Spc. Cardell Brown
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Nearly 100 Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, learned basic building skills and techniques June 9 for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
Staff from The Home Depot at Southgate in Colorado Springs organized four classes that included hanging drywall, building roofs, basic plumbing and electrical wiring to prepare Soldiers to overcome the austere living conditions they will experience while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“The knowledge these Soldiers will acquire from these four simple classes will allow them to be better equipped for their upcoming deployment,” said Capt. Mikel Resnick, commander, Company D, 1st Bn., 66th Armor Reg., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
During the upcoming deployment, there is a possibility that Soldiers may have to build some of their own structures, said Resnick.
“The training is very high on our priority list,” he said. “Soldiers will also be capable of helping the citizens of Afghanistan with their building requirements and improvements if needed.”
Ensuring that the Soldiers are equipped with the basic skills that allow them to get the job done is very important, said Resnick.
“In a combat situation, a Soldier may not have access to many different supplies, so we want them to be able to overcome this obstacle by training with what they have access to,” he said.
The Soldiers conducted the training with simple supplies, such as 4-inch polyvinyl chloride pipe, 2-by-4 inch boards, plywood and nails, said Resnick.
The home improvement store staff was happy to host this workshop for the Soldiers, said Jim Hughes, government sales associate for the Southgate store.
“The Home Depot is more than willing to help our military men and women, because we have tens of thousands of veterans and active duty employees in our ranks,” said Hughes.
The home improvement store currently has more than 1,700 associates on leave serving in the military, he added.
“This is one of the most successful workshops we have ever put together, which we hope becomes an annual event,” Hughes said.
“The home improvement store wants to be able to serve those who serve our country. It is always important to give back, and that is what we set out to do here,” Hughes said.