Call to service
Cadets help restore Blocker after flooding damage
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10
Blocker received some unexpected visitors Tuesday.
Members of the Corps of Cadets joined workers from SERVPRO, a company specializing cleanup and restoration, late Tuesday to clean out much of the John R. Blocker Building’s first floor water damage. The crew worked from 9 a.m. to midnight to meet the University’s deadline to reopen the building by
Greg Owens, Class of 1995 and owner of the Brazos Valley SERVPRO, said his staff was in need of a helping hand after several days of non-stop cleaning. After a request for help was posted online, Corps volunteers assisted by stripping walls, cleaning up debris and carrying equipment.
“[The cadets’ assistance] means we won’t be here all night,” Owens said. “We expected to work straight until 8 a.m. They don’t know what a favor they’ve done us.”
Owens and his staff have worked in Blocker with a staff of about 30 people from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day since Sunday. As the Friday deadline was fast approaching, he posted a request through Facebook for paid workers and a friend advised him to contact
Owens said he was surprised when the cadets offered to contribute their time for free.
“These volunteers are actually saving money for the University,” Owens said. “We are paid by the hour, so the quicker we get done tonight, the less A&M has to reimburse us.”
Members from 12 Corps outfits responded. Mike Powell, senior construction science major and member of Company A-2, said some outfits assembled volunteers within 20 minutes. He estimated that 30 cadets gathered in Blocker, matching SERVPRO staff man-for-man.
“Each outfit is well represented and these guys busted their tails from start to finish,” Powell said.
Several cadet volunteers requested confidentiality in interviews to avoid receiving recognition for their work.
“Selfless service, humility — that’s what being an Aggie is about,” Powell said.
Other Corps members like senior construction science major and A-2 member, Timothy Erb, said they contributed out of a sense of stewardship.
“I feel that it’s our job to take care of what we own,” Erb said. “A&M is our home. We have been gifted with these buildings and ought to take care of them.”
Some volunteers felt the urgency of reopening Blocker for academic reasons. David Alfano, sophomore computer engineering major of A-Company, said he is concerned about cancelled classes because he has a test next week.
“The test is for differential equations,” Alfano said. “I want to be learning the information in a classroom, because once you get behind in Dif-EQ, you stay behind.”
Most of the cadets volunteering had no tests or homework due the following the day.
“We are mainly sacrificing sleep, since we still have to be up at 5:30 tomorrow morning,” Erb said.
Powell stressed the importance of finding ways to give back to the University.
“The Corps gives time and effort to the University but gains so much more,” Powell said. “What I’m trying to say is, you can’t give back enough to this University.”