A Neighbors-Helping-Neighbors program has doubled in size since last fall. About 60 Marines from 1st Tank Battalion from the Marine base in Twentynine Palms fanned out to 25 homes in the Morongo Basin on Friday, April 4, to help seniors, the disabled, and veterans with yard work and home repairs such as painting and light carpentry. Managing editor Tami Roleff was at one home in Yucca Valley where two Marines were glad to be a part of the program…


Two Marines from 1st Tanks Battalion help install a railing at the home of Angela Leggett in Yucca Valley Friday, part of the Reach Out Morongo Basin’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program.


Tyler McVoy, Angela Leggett and Bill Ruiz

Angela Leggett of Yucca Valley had wanted to repair the hand railings for the steps into her mobile home on Kickapoo Trail for two years, but it wasn’t until Reach Out Morongo Basin matched her up with some Marines willing to help that she was able to finally make the repairs. “It is a tremendous, tremendous help, because I can afford the lumber but not the installation part. That is very expensive and being on low social security, most senior citizens know that it’s hard to save up any kind of money.” Leggett bought the lumber for the new hand rails, and two 20-year-old Marines from 1st Tanks Battalion, Bill Ruiz and Tyler McVoy, spent Friday morning tearing out the old railings and building new ones. Ruiz said he was glad to help. “I joined the Marine Corps to help people and this is me helping people.” McVoy wanted to show his support for the local community. “It feels good to give back to the community since they support the Marine Corps.” “This is a blessing that came by, it really is. I’ve been thinking about the safety now for two years but just haven’t had the means to get it done and I’m very, very grateful for the Marines and Reach Out Morongo for making this happen for us senior citizens.”

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