Habitat’s Armed Forces build first of its kind In Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Habitat’s Armed Forces build first of its kind In Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Flags representing each branch of military service, hung on the framework of a home under construction flapping in the wind as a construction crew sweated in the mid-morning sun.

The last Habitat Home under construction is history in the making.

It's the first ever Armed Forces Build which means most of the volunteers are past or present servicemen and women.

The home is being built for the family of Garry Capers. Capers will have completed 250 hours of sweat-equity service before closing on the property, as do all owners of new-construction Habitat homes.

"We always feel good about helping families in general, but with me serving 27 years in the military… to actually work side by side with a veteran and do a job I love doing everyday..to actually do it for a veteran makes it even more special," Darryl White with Habitat for Humanity said.

Among the volunteers is 97-year-old Jean Varda, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel who commanded the 802nd Tank Destroyer Battalion in World War II's Battle of the Bulge.

Varda calls his role the "moral support" man.

Varda's son Johnny, a Vietnam vet, also served on the crew.

The tools and equipment may be different than in battle but folks here say the mission is still the same – to serve.

"Everybody [is] just pitching in, doing their part," NC National Guardsman Graham Todd said.

"Mainly I'm framing..I'm never any good with the saw..they don't let me saw anything," Former Bank of America Chairman Hugh McCall joked. McCall served in the Marines from 1957 to 1959.

The project is made possible thanks to the financial support from Bank of America and United Technologies Corp.

The home will be dedicated on the eve of Independence Day.

According to a press release, "Habitat's Armed Forces Build is one of many Bank of America veterans-support initiatives throughout the country. The bank is helping the thousands of service members returning from active duty to reintegrate into civilian life through financial education, employment, wellness and housing support. They employ 6,000 military service members and veterans, and are on pace to hire an additional 2,000 this year."

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