Union Beach, NJ – November 2009 | Members of the New Jersey chapter of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) recently completed their 2nd annual “Deck for a Soldier®” (D4STM) charity project, continuing a national movement by the association to recognize those who have sacrificed for America. The deck project includes an extensive handicap ramp built for Army SSG Michael Minard. The NADRA chapter worked hand-in-hand with Homes For Our Troops, who are building a home to accommodate SSG Minard, his wife Lynda, and his two daughters, Kayla, 8, and Brooke, 2.
SSG Minard, 26, was severely injured in October, 2007, when his patrol hit a roadside bomb during his third tour in Iraq. As a result, he is confined to a wheelchair after losing both of his legs.
SSG Minard was excited to visit the site during the deck and ramp construction and wanted “to rally the troops,” according to Martin Coffey, a local deck builder who helped coordinate the D4S project. Those troops consisted of more than 35 volunteers from nearly two dozen companies taking part in the local effort, with the majority of those involved being members of the state NADRA chapter. The companies volunteering time and materials encompassed every level of the deck, dock, and railing industry from manufacturers and distributors to dealers and builders. “You would never know that the volunteers are otherwise competitors in the building industry, as they worked as a unified team with the goal of giving back to someone who sacrificed so much for our country”, said Jen Sheridan, Secretary of the NJ Chapter of NADRA.
The deck project was completed on November 17th, taking six days to complete. Formal ribbon- cuttings for the home and the deck are scheduled for December 21st.
More information about this and other projects can be found at www.NADRA.org or www.HomesForOurTroops.com. More about SSG Minard can be found at www.sgtminard.org.
NADRA is the voice of the deck and railing industry, providing a unified source for its’ professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance. NADRAs’ Deck for a Soldier program is a charitable outreach dedicated to providing decks, free of charge, to our returning men and women of the armed forces in appreciation for their service to our country.