Nov. 16, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Hurricane Sandy may have ripped through the Northeast two weeks ago, but the relief efforts to restore areas in New York City remain on-going. To that end, a group of Army men's soccer players decided to volunteer in Breezy Point Queens last Sunday, helping to repair a neighborhood ravaged by the storm.
The contingent of Black Knights, which also included cross country sophomore Lisa Junta, worked in several homes throughout the neighborhood. They removed walls, hard wood floors, furniture and other building materials that had been water-logged and damaged from the storm surge.
Army sophomores Tommy Jaeger and Winston Boldt were among the Black Knights who made the trip to New York City.
"It was a complete disaster down there," said Jaeger. "It was something I had never really experienced before, and it humbled me tremendously. We did as much as we could in one day, but Queens is a real mess. People kept thanking us over and over again, and made me feel like I was doing the right thing. The people down there are devastated and need all the help they can get.
"I really loved volunteering with some of my teammates," added Jaeger. "It brought us closer and provided something different than soccer. It was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had and makes me so thankful for all my family, friends and West Point. I wish the best of luck to all the people affected by the hurricane and wish to remind them that they are not alone and that as a country we will get through it."
Boldt echoed Jaeger's sentiments.
"It was really great to have the opportunity to go down there and help people that really need help," said Boldt. "The damage was devastating. It is extremely important to put things in perspective sometimes as a cadet here. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to attend West Point and walk in the footsteps of some of the most influential leaders in history, but sometimes it's difficult to take a step back and realize that your leadership and service to the community does not have to wait until you commission as an officer. The people in Breezy Point needed our help, and they still need help. Rebuilding that area will take months, and I cannot wait to go back down there again after our Thanksgiving break to do some more work."
Retired FDNY captain James P. Morgan was eternally grateful for the cadets' role in helping strip his home and the homes of some of his neighbors of the water-soaked material.
"The support and kindness shown by the cadets following this tragedy simply amazed me," said Morgan. "Despite this horrific event, I think that I will most remember the generous actions of these cadets. Go Army!"