Veterans gear up to build home


Veterans gear up to build home

By Michael Isam
Special to Historic City News

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Hayes will be the recipient of the second St Johns County home built for a wounded warrior by the local non-profit organization, “Homes for our Troops”.

On Friday, August 10, open ceremonies will be held at 8:30 a.m. for Hayes; who in December 2010, was on his 4th deployment overseas. He suffered life-threatening injuries and lost both of his legs after he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

The home will be built next door to his friend Tyler Southern — whose home was the first Homes for our Troops in St Johns County.

A “Build Brigade”, comprised of volunteers, will begin work at 7:30 a.m. — on-site at 218 Honey Branch Lane; off CR-208, approximately 6.5 miles west of I-95 in St Augustine, according to Community Outreach Coordinator Doreen Lewis.

“We could always use paper towels, hand sanitizers, trash bags and snacks,” Lewis said. “If you are working or visit at lunchtime each day, you can participate in a 50/50 raffle.”

Hayes will be escorted by the Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 Florida. Interested parties will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the rest stop on I95 located just north of CR-210 in St Johns County with kickstands up at 8:00 a.m.

The Build Brigade will raise the first wall during Friday morning’s ceremony and will continue to work until 5:00 p.m. Then, back again on Saturday morning to volunteer another day on the build site.

“We welcome ALL volunteers to the Build Brigade,” Lewis told reporters. “If you have signed up to volunteer and have not heard back, please come out and join us — on street and cul-de-sac parking is available.”

Whether assigned a task or just “showing up” to work, you are required to sign a waiver at the Registration Table. There you will receive a Build Brigade t-shirt that MUST be worn on site.

Pre-register at

Children under 16-years-old are NOT allowed on site without an adult. If you are volunteering and bringing younger children, please do NOT allow them near the actual home building. A food tent area will be set up that is located safely away from construction activities.

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