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Oklahoma Sailors Partner With Habitat for Humanity During Navy Week

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vazquez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 22, 2017 — More than 35 sailors assigned to the Navy’s Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1 based at Tinker Air Force Base here helped with the construction of a new home as part of a Habitat for Humanity project in Mustang, Oklahoma.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lionel Brown, assigned to Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1, hammers a wall frame during a community outreach project.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lionel Brown, assigned to Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1, hammers a wall frame during a community outreach project in Mustang, Okla., with Habitat for Humanity as part of Navy Week Oklahoma City, Sept. 21, 2017. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vazquez
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lionel Brown, assigned to Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1, hammers a wall frame during a community outreach project. Framing
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lionel Brown, assigned to Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1, hammers a wall frame during a community outreach project in Mustang, Okla., with Habitat for Humanity as part of Navy Week Oklahoma City, Sept. 21, 2017. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vazquez

Commander Strategic Communications Wing 1 provides survivable communications links that are used during nuclear war to maintain communications between senior government and military officials and weapon systems operations. The wing’s motto is: “Take Charge and Move Out” or TACAMO.

“I want to thank the sailors who are here today,” said Navy Command Master Chief Petty Officer Delbert Terrell Jr., who is serving as a senior representative for Navy Week in Oklahoma Cityand a Kingfisher, Oklahoma, native.

“TACAMO has been here for more than 25 years and it is important for them to give back to the community that supports them,” said Terrell, a construction electrician and the deputy director of the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy.

During the event, the sailors helped frame walls by cutting wood, measuring wall panel lengths and putting up the walls of the home.

Helping Others

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Oscar Rosales, a TACAMO sailor, said he was happy to volunteer for the event.

“I have been stationed here in Oklahoma for more than seven years and the community is unlike any other with their support of the sailors at Tinker Air Force base,” said Rosales, who helped saw wood for the home’s walls.

Navy Command Master Chief Delbert Terrell Jr. measures a window frame during a community outreach project.
Navy Command Master Chief Delbert Terrell Jr. measures a window frame during a community outreach project in Mustang, Okla., with Habitat for Humanity as part of Navy Week Oklahoma City, Sept. 21, 2017. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vazquez
Navy Command Master Chief Delbert Terrell Jr. measures a window frame during a community outreach project. Framing
Navy Command Master Chief Delbert Terrell Jr. measures a window frame during a community outreach project in Mustang, Okla., with Habitat for Humanity as part of Navy Week Oklahoma City, Sept. 21, 2017. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vazquez

Although Terrell is a Seabee, he said he understands how different an environment this is for sailors in non-construction occupations.

“Some of the sailors are getting an opportunity to give back, even if this type of job is not what they usually do,” Terrell said. “They are here not because they have to be, but because they choose to be.”

Keyla Garza, the recipient of the home being built, was present during the event and helped to construct her future home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes -- an empowerment strategy the organization refers to as “sweat equity” --  alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

‘I Won’t Forget’

“I am truly grateful to have the Navy team helping build this house,” Garza said. “It’ll be something I won’t forget for as long as I am here.”

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that partners with people in communities all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home.

Oklahoma City Navy Week is one of 15 Navy Weeks in 2017 that provide a variety of assets, equipment and personnel in a single city for a weeklong series of community outreach engagements designed to bring America's Navy closer to the people it protects.


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