Habitat's Home for Marine Receives Blessing

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Habitat's Home for Marine Receives Blessing

Mechanicsville, MD - 8/25/2012

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By Marty Madden

Marine Lance Corporal Caleb Getscher
Marine Lance Corporal Caleb Getscher

Friends, family and community leaders gathered Saturday, Aug. 25 at the newly built residence of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Caleb Getscher to tour the finished product. The “home blessing ceremony” organized by Patuxent Habitat for Humanity (PHH) took place 232 days after a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site off Chaptico Road in Mechanicsville.

Getscher, 21, sustained incapacitating injuries while deployed and on patrol in Afghanistan last summer. He continues to undergo treatment and rehabilitation at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Construction an accessible addition to the Getscher family home to provide Caleb with mobility was PHH’s first in the Gary Senese Memorial Veterans Repair Corps project. The projects are made possible with a sizable donation from Repair Corps, a joint venture of Habitat for Humanity International and The Home Depot Foundation.

Also stepping up was the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to injured and ill servicemen.

“Our mission is to approach the family and find out how we can assist,” said Janine Canty of the Semper Fi Fund. The organization donated $40,000 to the project. Over 20 other community partners also contributed.

Having the money, materials and permits in place paves the way for the volunteers to get the work done. The Getscher home project involved more than 80 volunteers contributing over 1,140 hours of weekend volunteer time. As required by Habitat for Humanity, Getscher’s family pitched in to help with many aspects of the project, including serving lunches to the hardworking volunteers.

According to Pamela Shubert, PHH executive director, other projects to aid the region’s military veterans are in the works for St. Mary’s and Calvert counties.One plan in the pipeline is to build a second house on a tract in Prince Frederick on Mason Road.

“It came out beautifully, better than a new house, definitely quality work,” said Eric Faughnan, who Shubert recruited to design the addition, which provides Getscher, his wife and daughter, with a comfortable and aesthetically beautiful home. The components—kitchen, bath, bedroom, spacious closet—have significantly minimized or totally eliminated many of the mobility issues that challenged the young marine when he returned home.

“I love it, it more than meets the need,” said Bill Getscher, Caleb’s father.

Local officials who spoke at the ceremony effusively praised Getscher for his service and the volunteer builders for their work.

“Thank you for your service,” said St. Mary’s County Commissioner Lawrence D. Jarboe [R-District 3]. “This program [Habitat for Humanity] is the best of its kind anywhere.”

“This is proof we live in the best country in the world,” said Delegate John F. Wood Jr. [D-District 29A]. “Everybody did this because it came from their hearts.”

“You’ve got a great organization here,” said House of Delegates Minority Leader Anthony J. “Tony” O’Donnell [R-District 29C], who formally saluted Getscher.

For more information on PHH visit www.patuxenthabitat.org or call 301-863-6227 or 410-326-9050.

To see pictures of the project as it was taking shape, visit “Veteran Repair Program for Caleb Getscher” on Facebook.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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