Peoria Airmen lend a helping hand

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Avery Litton
  • 182nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Nine Airmen from the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, volunteered their off-duty time over a drill weekend Aug. 13 to help a veteran family in need in Peoria, Illinois.

The Airmen worked with the Fuller Center for Housing to paint the family’s garage. The local Peoria organization is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which aims to help low-income veterans and the families with home repairs.

The day of the project, the Airmen had a full drill day of rigorous inspections on base. In the evening after the inspections, instead of resting or going out, the Airmen went to work on painting the garage. The painting took four hours and the Airmen worked into the night, ending at around 9 p.m.

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Britt McMahon, a crew chief with the 182nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, first expressed to his leadership a desire to volunteer with helping veterans in the local area, explaining that there were several other Airmen on base also with a call to serve veterans in need. His leadership then reached out to the Fuller Center for Housing and informed them of the willing volunteers.

U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Jake Surprenant, also a crew chief with the squadron, was able to help see the project through and collected a full team of Airmen to assist with the garage painting.

“I’m just glad we were able to help someone in need,” said Surprenant. “Just seeing the smile on the homeowner’s face, it made me feel accomplished. It was a really nice experience, and everyone was so willing to help.”