Patrick Kuczkowski works Friday at the Routt County Habitat for Humanity duplex being built on Honeysuckle Lane.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Patrick Kuczkowski works Friday at the Routt County Habitat for Humanity duplex being built on Honeysuckle Lane.

Army reservists pitch in for Routt County Habitat home

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Learn more about Routt County Habitat for Humanity and its local projects at www.routtcohabitat.org.

— With a nail gun in hand, a group of Army reservists moved board by board Friday to help close in a new Routt County Habitat for Humanity duplex on Steamboat Springs’ west side.

“It’s just nice to kind of pitch in,” said Patrick Kuczkowski, a platoon leader with the 98th Expeditionary Signal Battalion based out of the Denver Federal Center.

The 2005 Steamboat Springs High School graduate has been in the Army Reserves almost two years, having joined after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder. Most of his service as a reservist so far has involved training to prepare to set telecommunication operations in the field.

“If it has a battery, that’s our job,” Kuczkowski said.

He oversees 52 soldiers and was joined in Steamboat on Friday by other members of the unit’s leadership team for a retreat, where they will build camaraderie and plan for three weeks of training in June.

“We decided to come and do some community service this afternoon,” Kuczkowski said.

Seeing members of the military working on the Habitat home was bittersweet for Renee Gaerlan, who will be moving into the duplex with her husband, Terry, and their two children, Xander and Ryker. Terry Gaerlan is in the Navy and stationed overseas in Bahrain. Renee Gaerlan is juggling a job while raising their two young children and putting in sweat equity at their future home.

“It’s a very nice opportunity to work with the military,” Gaerlan said. “It’s nice to have that connection, I guess.”

Framing still is under way at the home at 2750 Honeysuckle Lane in the Riverside neighborhood, and completion is slated for November or December.

Community workdays at the Habitat house are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. People interested in volunteering can sign up at www.routtcohabitat.org.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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