By Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley

15th Sustainment Brigade public affairs

Residents of Pershing Park may not recognize their Community Life Center after its remodeling, Nov. 21.

Forty 15th Sustainment Brigade soldiers worked to overhaul the facility as well as maintain the Pershing Park grounds Nov. 21-22.

15th SB sponsors the nearly 700 unit military housing area by ensuring that it is well maintained and beautiful for the residents.

Soldiers pushed to complete as much work as possible in the short time provided. They repainted walls and doors, organized storage areas, laid down mulch, picked up trash, cut grass and did many other things to improve the quality of not only the CLC, but the fence line and playgrounds in the vicinity.

Staff Sgt. Simo Ngqakayi, a 96th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 15th SB, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), truck driver and a community life noncommissioned officer for the area said that the building’s appearance wasn’t up to standards.

Upon completion, the CLC is intended to have new TVs, a projector, a children’s room, and new furniture, although some of these may not yet be present when the building first opens, Ngqakayi said.

“For me, this is easy, I like it,” said Pfc. Issac Juarbe, a 297th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 15th SB cargo specialist. “I’m a soldier, that’s my job, [to] serve the people of the United States.”

Juarbe was already a seasoned professional painter, as he started painting at age 14 in Puerto Rico for extra cash.

“[We’re] trying to beautify the area to provide a better quality to the residents of Pershing Park,” said Sgt. 1st Class Arturo Guzman, a 263rd Ordnance Company, 49th transportation battalion, 15th SB, mechanic and community life NCO for the area.

The CLC can be used by any resident of Pershing Park by reservation for activities such as birthday parties, meetings, holiday activities, bingo, the neighborhood watch and parties. No alcohol is permitted.

Although the recent focus was on the CLC, the community life NCOs continually work to ensure better quality of life for everyone in the community. They inspect the area to make sure everything is up to the III Corps and Fort Hood standards on such things as safety, presentable appearance, energy conservation, housekeeping, and vehicles.

Citations are issued to residents who do not comply with the standards, and depending on the severity of the situation, may be allotted time to correct the situation before adverse actions, such as contacting the soldier’s chain-of-command, are taken.

“Even though I live in quarters, I take pride in my house,” Ngqakayi said.“I think everybody should.”

Ngqakayi and Guzman have also made themselves available to assist the community’s mayor, Laurie Morin, and manager Todd Hess, with their fledgling neighborhood watch program.

Ngqakayi said that the neighborhood watch program still needs volunteers.

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