May 24, 2010 10:53 PM by Matt Stafford
In March, local vets and regular Joes came to help with a surprise; remodeling the basement for Staff Sergeant Dennis Cline, who is now home after receiving treatment for a war injury.
Cline got home earlier than expected and the project wasn't done, but the surprise went on anyways. Since then, the crew is sticking around to see the job through.
"Now that we're getting down to the final stuff, there's a little more horseplay, a little more camaraderie and kidding around and just enjoying finishing the project," says Tom Tarver, a volunteer who has helped out since the beginning.
Remodeling the basement of his home is a project that's been one of Dennis' for a while, but the crew has given extra energy to get the job done. The feeling of accomplishment is a good one for Cline.
"If you've made it back and you're breathing, you can't just sit and mope around and do nothing, do something with it," says SSgt. Cline.
He's taking his own words to heart, cutting through obstacles in his path and learning how to adjust.
"Kind of quirky stupid little things, but that's a way of life now," says Cline, talking about learning to take on some of the tasks in this project since his injury.
What some would consider a loss, losing ones hand, Cline thinks of it as growth, physically and emotionally learning to face challenges and overcome them.
"There's nothing I can do to get back my hand, but I'm still breathing, life goes on," says Cline. He says this project has helped with that mind set. It's something he now looks to help others find, and something the he and crew want to continue giving. Many of them are beginning to see, a finished project isn't the end.
"Next time we'll probably come down here will be for a cold beer and to watch a football game on the TV set with Dennis and the boys," says Tarver.
The smile on Tom's face when talking about that visit is what Cline and the crew want to spread to others.