Alternative spring break: Cadets build Okla home

Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy lift the frame to a home in Oklahoma City March 22, 2016. The cadets traveled to Oklahoma City to spend their spring break teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a lower-income family. (U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy)

Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy lift the frame to a home in Oklahoma City March 22, 2016. The cadets traveled to Oklahoma City to spend their spring break teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a lower-income family. (U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy)

A cadet from the U.S. Air Force Academy stands inside the frame of a home he and other cadets and Habitat for Humanity volunteers are building for a lower-income family in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, March 22, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy)

A cadet from the U.S. Air Force Academy stands inside the frame of a home he and other cadets and Habitat for Humanity volunteers are building for a lower-income family in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, March 22, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY PUBLIC AFFAIRS --

 OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- For more than a decade, cadets at the Air Force Academy have participated in the alternative spring break program by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

Ten cadets traveled to Oklahoma City to frame and repair a house March 21. The home-site consisted of a slab foundation when the cadets arrived, but by the end of the day they and Habitat volunteers framed the three bedroom house and two-car garage.

“I’ve always wanted to know how to build a house and this was a great experience,” said Cadet 2nd Class Nnaji Omenye. “I’m enjoying being a part of something greater than myself and helping people feel happy.”

 

Jeanette Martinez is the new homeowner.

 

“This has been our dream for years,” she said. “I am so happy for the volunteers and [Habitat for Humanity] for making this happen. I cannot wait to meet my new neighbors.”

 

The Martinez home is one of more than 140 to be included in the new Legacy Estates with a home owners association, a playground and storm shelters for residents.

 

Bruce Kennedy, assistant construction manager, led the day’s work.

 

“The cadets are a blessing to us and our community,” he said, “It is an incredible sacrifice they make to come here and build homes for the needy.”

 

Seventy-five cadets volunteered with Habitat for Humanity this year in six cities: Houston; Sacramento, Calif.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Tupelo, Miss., and Oklahoma City. 

 

The alternative spring break program is funded by the Center for Character and Leadership Development and the Association of Graduates at the Academy.