3.9k Share this

A temporary home for veterans in Oceanside looks a little nicer following a Thursday visit from some active-duty Camp Pendleton Marines who spruced up the old apartment building with planters, fencing, a canopy and new flag pole.

As he took a break from hammering, one of the volunteers said he was getting something meaningful in return for his work.

“It’s very rewarding,” said Brett Tate, 36, about a day of service he and about a dozen other members of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West performed at the apartment building Interfaith Community Services runs for veterans.

“The older veterans pass down information, knowledge, to us,” he said. “It’s truly an amazing experience. We’ll talk with them and work with them all throughout the day.”

Tate, who plans to transition out of the Marine Corps after serving 16 years, has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas, and said he is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He has been with the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton since January.


Adriana Macias, transition program manager with the battalion, said there are 300 members in the Camp Pendleton organization, which is part of a larger regiment that includes an East Coast battalion in Virginia. Marines and sailors in the battalion have severe injuries, including physical, mental and emotional injuries, she said.

Macias said the idea of doing a day of service with Interfaith Community Services came about from a conversation she had with the battalion commanding officer, Lt. Col. Rebecca Harvey.

“Myself and the commanding officer were talking about giving back to the community and volunteering to kind of help reintroduce our active-duty Marines to the community,” she said.

Macias previously had worked at Interfaith, an Escondido-based nonprofit that helps people experiencing or facing homelessness. Among the 75 programs at the nonprofit are several focused on helping veterans, including the 64-bed housing program on Division Street in Oceanside the battalion visited Thursday.

Curtis Winfrey, who runs programs at the apartment, said some clients are in Interfaith’s supportive service program, where they can stay up to two years and get help with addictions, mental health issues and find other services. Others at the apartment are in the bridge housing program, which provides a 90-day stay and is intended as a bridge between homelessness and stable housing.

The common area alongside the two-story building was in need of an upgrade, and volunteers from the battalion spent the morning at work. Volunteers divided into crews that tackled different projects, with some installing a new wooden barricade to cover a chain link fence while others erected a canopy for shade or installed planters. One team replaced a telescopic flag pole with a more traditional pole with ropes and pulleys.

Marine Cpl. Xavier Cardona and Don Gibson raise a new American flag and flagpole.

Marine Cpl. Xavier Cardona, right, and Don Gibson, a resident and onsite coordinator for an Interfaith Community Services program in Oceanside, raise a new American flag and flagpole as part of a day of service by the Camp Pendleton-based Wounded Warrior Battalion West.

(Hayne Palmour IV/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Winfrey said some residents had asked if they could have daily flag-raising ceremonies, but the telescopic was too difficult for some of the residents to operate, as it required collapsing and extending the pole.

Macias said with the first day of service complete, she hopes the battalion will continue to do more projects with Interfaith or other organizations.

“We will go anywhere we’re needed,” she said. “This was near and dear to my heart because I came from Interfaith, so we decided to come here first, but they also have family housing units and so many other programs.”

Speaking to volunteers and residents before the project began, Winfrey found a moving way to describe the event.

“It’s one generation of veterans reaching back to the next generation of veterans,” he said. “This truly represents what’s best about America.”

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Blink-182 rocker Mark Hoppus arrives at Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s Italian wedding

They’re saying ‘I do’ for a third time this weekend in Portofino,…
Daniel Enriquez, 48, 'never' took the subway in crime-ridden New York City and would have taken an Uber to have brunch with his brother yesterday had it not been so expensive. His partner Adam Pollack, 54, spoke to DailyMail.com on Monday

Goldman Sachs worker shot dead on subway only took train because Uber was surge pricing

The Goldman Sachs employee shot dead in a random subway attack on…
Experts wonder why it took vendor so long to notify Chicago Public Schools of data breach

Experts wonder why it took vendor so long to notify Chicago Public Schools of data breach

CHICAGO (CBS) — In the wake of a massive data breach involving…

Ukraine war: Syrian barrel bomb experts drafted in to help Putin’s forces

Vladimir Putin has drafted in feared Syrian barrel bomb specialists to aid…
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss dated in the 1990s. They are seen here at the debut of Depp's short film Banter in 1994

Kate Moss ‘will appear at Johnny Depp defamation trial

Kate Moss will appear at Depp defamation trial: Supermodel who dated Johnny…
3 teens shot this weekend

3 teens shot this weekend

3 teens shot this weekend – CBS Chicago Watch CBS News At…

Ukraine war: Belarus checking combat readiness of army equipment stores

Belarus has begun checking the ‘combat readiness’ of equipment in long term…

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe recalls how she was locked up in a windowless 1x2metre cell in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has recalled the horrific details of her six-year imprisonment in Iran…