COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In the past two decades, the local House of Heroes has had more than 17,000 volunteers, honoring more than 900 military veterans and/or their spouses with home repairs and improvements, but for the first time ever, a team of Fort Benning drill sergeants are working with the non-profit, showing a softer side.
We are used to seeing drill sergeants yelling during basic training, but they were quieter on Tuesday. This group of drill sergeants from Fort Benning had some free time from their company, so they volunteered with House of Heroes.
Brick by brick, they are doing cleanup from a storm-damaged wall and debris in the yard at the Columbus home of Lynette Reynolds, the widow of Sgt. 1st class Hulie Reynolds.
“Her husband served in the military 22 years," said Company Commander for Drill Sergeants Eric Flynn said. “He was an infantry drill sergeant as well.”
Brandon Schneider, Senior Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, said “We are here to help rebuild and structure for some of the things that happened during the recent tornadoes in the area.”
They also pressure washed the home of Ms. Reynolds, just a few weeks after meeting her.
They say this is about helping heroes who paved the way.
“Us coming out has given them a boost and confidence to know they have this available to them and we’re here to help support if they can’t accomplish that task," Schneider said.
Flynn added, “I think it’s just good to help out the community, especially our veterans because that’s going to be us one day; helping out those who can’t help themselves.”
And they tell us this kind of service project helps with team building and gives them a new perspective.
“Being a drill sergeant and getting away from normal tasks and wear of dealing with so many Privates...it’s good," Schneider told News Leader 9.
Sergeant 1st class Hulie Reynolds earned numerous honors during more than two decades in the U.S. Army, including a Drill Sergeant ID Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, an Expert Infantryman Badge, 3 Overseas Service Ribbons, and a Parachutist Badge.