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SFS lends hand to hurricane victim

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- We see them everywhere. At the gates. In their cars and our review mirrors. They’re so omnipresent that many of us think they’re part of the landscape. However, there is one man in the civilian community who couldn’t miss the volunteer 45th Security Forces Squadron personnel who helped him rebound from disaster. 

Recently, 11 members of the squadron and one spouse volunteered their Saturday to help a local senior citizen restore his home to a safe, livable condition after multiple hurricanes in 2004 and floods from Hurricane Wilma this year rendered his home unlivable.

The homeowner, Benjamin Simpson, of Cocoa, Fla., needed help. The funds he was authorized through his insurance settlement did not go as far as needed to return him to a home that was clean, dry and free of mold, according to George Bovell, a retired chief master sergeant and volunteer case worker for Brevard Long Term Recovery Coalition, an arm of the United Way.

“This is where the men and women of the security forces stepped in,” said Mr. Bovell. “Twelve volunteers, led by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Lintz and Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Delebreau, went over to Mr. Simpson’s home and removed all the damaged carpet from the home and prepared the house for mold remediation treatment. Significant cleaning was accomplished to address health issues with another trip scheduled after final roof repairs are completed. One would have to have been there to appreciate magnitude of the impact they made on Mr. Simpson's life.”

“You learn to appreciate everything you have when you see people who are not as fortunate,” said Dominica DeCoy, 45th SFS Reports and Analysis Security specialist and volunteer.

The commander of the 45th SFS, Lt. Col. Lynden Skinner, said he was floored by their generous actions.

“The holiday spirit is alive and well in the security forces squadron,” he said. “These unselfish warriors gave up their precious time off to help someone less fortunate here at home. Despite 12-hour shifts and the demands of the holiday season, these folks stepped forward to help someone in need. I am very proud and awed by their gift.”