Sailors, Marines Assist Habitat For Humanity in Florida

Sailors and Marines in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for Fleet Week are on a mission to help build homes.

Sailors and Marines in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for Fleet Week are on a mission to help build homes.

Roughly 20 men and women of the U.S. Navy spent Wednesday and Thursday teaming with low-income families to construct a community that will hopefully boast 30 homes for those families.

"You know, it's good for us to go out across the seas and do stuff, but it's even better when we can stay at home and help the people here that we go out there everyday for," said U.S. Navy Ensign Gabrielle Francisco. "The painting of our ship is something we do everyday, but, you know, painting a house for a family in need is way more important, I think, to a lot of us."

"The community kind of took us with their open arms, so we felt like we had to give something back to the community," said U.S. Navy Ensign Marcelo Almonte, who is participating in the program for a third year and organized his fellow officers for the volunteer project's most recent edition.

Habitat For Humanity has partnered with the Navy since 1999.

"Some groups will try to out-do one another in certain tasks: who can get done first, who can do it better," Habitat for Humanity of Broward County's Maureen Hodgson said of the troops' competitive spirit. "It's kind of cool to see."

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