Atlanta, GA – October 12, 2010 | The weather was perfect and the atmosphere festive for the 2010 “Deck for a Soldier®” ribbon cutting ceremony this past Saturday. Members from Atlanta NADRA Chapter, Operation Home Front, and The Associated General Contractors (Georgia Group) were in attendance. Food and drink were plentiful as were the balloons, banners, and American Flags.

Atlanta NADRA Chapter, Operation Home Front, & the Associated General Contractors Members pose with Captain Don Thompson & family in front of their new deck. October 9, 2010

Our honored recipient Captain Don Thompson, his wife Dana, and family were chosen from a short list of finalist entering essays of consideration for this year’s deck project. Captain Thompson has served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.As is the case for all our military families who have loved ones deployed, hardships exist that most of us cannot begin to imagine. The Thompsons are a great example of this and provided us a small way to say “thank you” for what they do.

Existing deck without stairs before replacement

The planning and building was truly a team effort with more Atlanta Chapter NADRA members volunteering their services than could be used on the first undertaking. The heavy lifters for building materials this time around included NADRA members, Arch Chemicals (framing), AZEK (Decking), Fortress (Rails), and Trex (outer band and rail post sleeves).

Captain Don Thompson, wife Dana and family

Atlanta Deck and Fence Co., Decks and More, Deck South Inc., Peachtree Decks and Porches LLC, and Tailor Decks provided the labor using a “relay / tag team” approach. Each day a crew would pick up the baton where the previous crew left off. The project which included a front stoop as well as the deck took 4.5 days to complete. Jeff Butler from Rain-Away provided an under-deck system. Just Decks Inc. made themselves available to provide labor but instead sponsored dollars to cover hardware and misc. cost as no additional labor was needed.

Metro Building Products donated services to receive, stage, and deliver all materials. Tiger Claw, Fasten Master, and Timbertech provided hardware and misc. item funding.

J.B.Frix provided a dumpster while South Eastern Site Services provided the porta-john. Merritt Huber with Carolina Lumber offered to provide framing material but the need had already been met.

Operation Home Front and The Associated General Contractors provided for a great partnership coordinating media event plans and finding sponsors for landscaping, deck furniture, and a grill. They provided food for the crews each day work was in progress.

Keith Compton who has headed up the D4S effort delivered a fantastic dedication speech to the Thompson family before the ribbon cutting occurred. Keith also gave a great interview to 11 Alive News getting out our NADRA message.

Finished Deck for a Soldier® Project

The Forsyth News featured the project with front page coverage on the October 3rd Sunday edition while 11 Alive news reporter Matt Pearl was there to capture the event on Saturday.

Again this has truly been a team effort and although many that wanted to participate could not as only so much labor and material can be used on a single project. There is always next year, and the ones that want to step up to the plate and be the heavy lifters will be welcome to do so.

The Atlanta NADRA Chapter should be very proud of what’s been accomplished. Not only has the Thompson family been shown thanks in a huge way, but local deck contractors have displayed an ability to work together for a worthwhile cause and in a very impressive and positive manner.

I for one consider it an honor to have been involved in such an undertaking and I’ve sincerely enjoyed working together with my friends and counterparts on our first Deck for a Soldier project.

Bobby Parks
Atlanta NADRA Chapter President

About NADRA:
Deck builders and product manufacturer’s alike raised concerns at the 2004 DeckExpo over the compatibility of new generation wood treatments and fasteners. As a result, many realized the need for a unified industry voice. NADRA is that voice. The association is now in its fourth year as a 501(c)6 not-for-profit corporation.

NADRA Mission Statement:
The mission of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is to provide a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building industry in North America so that members can exceed the expectations of their customers.

About Deck for a Soldier®:
NADRA launched its Deck For a Soldier™ program in 2007 when an inquiry came across the NADRA website. Sergeant Thomas placed an inquiry to NADRA member, Sawdust, Ltd. Of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma through, in anticipation of scheduling a deck build when she returned home. Here, the idea of building a “Deck for a Soldier™” was born. This is a community effort that expresses our appreciation for the service and dedication of the men and women of our armed forces.

NADRA Members:
NADRA is made up of deck builders, manufacturers, dealers/distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and service providers to the deck and railing industry. By working together we can be one voice for the industry and deliver a clear message to the consumer and the code development bodies. NADRA serves as a trade association with emphasis on safe building practices, and deck safety.