ST. LOUIS -- The Marines and sailors of the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force offered assistance to the St. Vincent Home for the Children located here Aug. 7.
The visit was designed by the leadership of St. Vincent and CBIRF to help out the St. Louis community following a state of emergency due to the torrential storms which slammed into the “Gateway to the West” the first week of August.
“You can never have enough support,” said Jessica K. Fultus, associate director of development for the home, of CBIRF’s ground-clearing and repair efforts. “It was a blessing.”
The workers, made up predominantly of CBIRF headquarters element, put in many hours with the cleanup efforts.
Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence E. Pieper, who himself is a product of Missouri’s foster care system, was motivated by his faith in God, family and his military brothers to participate in the project.
“It’s our responsibility to serve America, not just in combat, but during times of need,” said Pieper, a religious programs specialist and a key coordinator in the project. “This is my own personal way of giving back to my hometown.”
Seemingly oblivious to the humidity and heat, the Marines and sailors worked to improve the 22 acres of storm-ravaged grounds.
“We have our everyday work to do, but the storm added on,” said Fultus, who mentioned that it would have been a considerable job for the home’s 80-year-old groundskeeper. “It was wonderful and we would love to have them back.”
She mentioned that upon hearing of their desire to support the home, there was no hesitation in welcoming some of our nation’s forces – known mostly for their war fighting skills.
“The Marines and sailors should always have the benefit of the doubt, because they are here to protect the country, much in the same way we are here to protect these kids.”
The project, a two-day effort for the CBIRF Marines and sailors, is scheduled to continue throughout Aug. 8