Groups to remodel Leavenworth soldier’s house
More than 50 home remodeling professionals and other volunteers from the Kansas City area will spend Saturday, Oct. 4, in Leavenworth, making repairs and renovations to the home of a former Kansas National Guard soldier who was injured in Iraq in February 2006.
The Second Annual “Operation Soldier Assist,” from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a community service project of Kansas City NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), in cooperation with the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (KCAUSA).
Sean Resare was a staff sergeant who served in Iraq from November 2005 to November 2006 – his second deployment with the National Guard. He participated in more than 400 missions. During one of these missions, Resare’s vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) and he suffered a concussion and several shrapnel wounds. Resare received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor for his actions during this mission.
“We appreciate the hard work of these two organizations in making this project a reality,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the Adjutant General of Kansas. “It’s wonderful to see such community support for our Guard members and their families.”
Two others in the vehicle were killed – Sgt. Jesse Davila, a fellow Kansas Army National Guard soldier from Greensburg, and Dan Kuhlmeier, who was a civilian special agent for investigations assigned to the U.S. Air Force, from Philadelphia. This year’s “Operation Soldier Assist” is in honor of Davila and Kuhlmeier. Two strong oak trees will be planted in Resare’s front yard during closing ceremonies at 4 p.m. A bench will be installed under both oak trees that will have the names of Davila and Kuhlmeier engraved on them.
Volunteers will be giving away oak tree saplings for donations throughout the day. The money raised will be put into a college scholarship for Davila’s daughter.
Kansas City NARI members will donate materials and labor to accomplish a number of remodeling projects to Resare’s home, including painting the house; reconstructing the front porch railing; and adding a bedroom closet, an attic staircase, flooring for a storage room, tile in the entryway, new carpet in the home office and new blinds for the living room.
Kansas National Guardsmen, Leavenworth High School Junior ROTC and the Leavenworth VFW are among other local organizations volunteering their time to “Operation Soldier Assist.”
“The purpose of ‘Operation Soldier Assist’ is to be a model for bringing communities and organizations together to help those who have served and sacrificed for our country,” said Debby Allmon, a Kansas City NARI board chair. “We are thrilled to again be partnering with KCAUSA on this most worthwhile endeavor.”
“One of KCAUSA’s main functions is to help and support Soldiers and their families who participate in securing our Nation,” said KCAUSA Chapter President Rick Katz. “Our partnership with Kansas City NARI is an ideal fit for us and a way for us to serve as a model for other communities to help Soldiers and other service members whenever possible. Throughout this process Staff Sgt. Resare has insisted that our efforts honor the memory of Davila and Kuhlmeier rather than benefit him entirely. In respect for his wishes, we chose to plant two large oak trees in his yard, representing strength and endurance, in their honor. By offering oak tree saplings to raise money for the college scholarship is a reminder to all of us that life does go on.”
Resare and his wife, Kim, have three children. Their daughter, Candice, is with the U.S. Army Reserves 308th PsyOps Battalion. She has had one deployment to Iraq. Their son, Jon, is a junior at Leavenworth High School and is in the Junior ROTC program. Jessica is 10 and is in fifth grade. Kim’s father served in the Army for 20 years