Guam – Service members partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Guam to refurbish the home of island resident Antonio Bagaygay in Talofofo, Guam Feb. 4.
Bagaygay, 91, lives alone on a lot that was once covered by trees and plants. The home was almost invisible to passersby, until a Habitat for Humanity of Guam employee found him and solicited the aid of volunteers.
“This project has had at least 20-30 people each weekend,” said Habitat for Humanity of Guam’s board president Shane Intihar. “It is very easy to get Sailors and Airmen out to these projects. This is the kind of stuff they love to do.”
Ann Cruz, administrative assistant for Habitat for Humanity of Guam, was pleased with the turnout of service members.
“The militaries, the Andersen, the Navies, and every volunteer that I call, they have all the heart when they come out and they came here, they work, and they help us out,” she said. “They like to do what is good for the people and what is good for the families. They show they really are one of the Samaritans here on our island and that’s what we’re looking for, people like them.”
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Bryan Darnell, of U.S. Naval Base Guam Security, was one of the many Sailors who volunteered at the event.
“I like helping out,” Darnell said. “I like coming out and helping people around the island. We’re showing a pretty good presence out here. We’re showing a lot of military personnel out here are more than willing to help the local community.”
Lt. Alex May, of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas echoed his sentiments.
“Habitat for Humanity got the word out that [Bagaygay] needs help, so here we are,” he said. “It’s very important that we keep in touch with the community and this is one of the great opportunities to do so. I thank every single one that’s here to help out.”
Bagaygay grew up in the Philippines, where he was recruited into the U.S. Army. When he arrived on Guam, he helped in rebuilding efforts after World War II.
“He’s done a lot to serve both the U.S. military and Guam,” Intihar said.