10/01/04 — Squadron fixes Habitat home for needy family

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Squadron fixes Habitat home for needy family

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 1, 2004 2:00 PM

Fighter pilots and other personnel from Seymour Johnson Air Base are working on the ground this week to make life better for Wayne County residents.

The 333rd Fighter Squadron is renovating a house that was donated to Habitat for Humanity. The house will be sold to raise money for the organization.

The house, at 501 S. Audubon Ave., needed a lot of work, said Habitat President Bill Edgerton. He said about 50 volunteers from the 333rd have split up into two groups, with one working on the house and the other getting Habitat's new warehouse ready.

Capt. Katie Taylor, fighter pilot, said the squadron has a week at the end of the each fiscal year when it doesn't fly. "We usually just train" on the ground, she said Thursday morning at the house.

But this time, she said, she asked her squadron commander, Lt. Col. Mark Kelly, if they could volunteer with Habitat.

He agreed.

Several of the workers at the house on Audubon Avenue are fighter pilots, weapons system officers, life support or administration people. Some are bringing their spouses to work with them.

"We have 25 or 30 here," she said.

The house will receive new vinyl siding, insulated windows, new plumbing, cabinets, electric fixtures, heating, air conditioning and a new bathroom.

"I'd encourage other people to do the same thing," said Edgerton, who guesses that Habitat will end up spending $25,000 on materials to get the house into shape to sell. He said it could sell for $85,000.

He said Habitat expects to be able to build two houses with the money it makes from selling the Audubon Avenue house.

"This is not the kind of house we normally sell to Habitat homeowners," he added.

The house was donated anonymously to Habitat. It was in bad shape.

He said federal inmates from Seymour Johnson have already done most of the renovations. They worked on the house for three months, he said.

He hopes to have it ready to sell by December.