September 2, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
72°F

Army strong for the community

Sgt. Joseph King, left, of the Army Education and Career Development Center in Medina, and Jonathan Curnutte, a Wadsworth senior and Army recruit, carry a shelving unit out of a flood-soaked garage at the Medina Township home of Vic Petras. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Sgt. Joseph King, left, of the Army Education and Career Development Center in Medina, and Jonathan Curnutte, a Wadsworth senior and Army recruit, carry a shelving unit out of a flood-soaked garage at the Medina Township home of Vic Petras. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Army recruits received a lesson in community service on Thursday by helping a Medina Township family recover from last week’s storms.

Staff and recruits from the Medina Education and Career Development Center, the Army’s recruitment center, came to Vic Petras’ home to lend many hands.

“I sent a message to them and said instead of training, let’s go out and help this family clean up instead,” said Sgt. Edwin Tyrene, who oversees the future soldiers’ program.

The program works with enlisted members who have not yet attended basic training. They learn about Army tasks, terms and how to train for physical fitness tests. Tyrene said learning to give back to the community is an important part of being in the Army.

It’s an eye-opener for them to give back to the community,” he said.

The six teenagers who helped clean up Petras’ property at 4056 Granger Road weren’t required to do so, and “it shows their motivation to go above and beyond,” Tyrene said.

Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks said he got the idea to get the recruits involved after he saw a sign at Petras’ house asking for help with flood cleanup earlier this week.

“There’s a lot they can do here to help out hauling heavy items to the dumpster to give (Petras) a break,” Hicks said.

Sgt. Joseph King, left, of the Army Education and Career Development Center in Medina, works with Jonathan Curnutte, a Wadsworth High School senior and Army recruit, to try to get a power washer damaged by floodwaters started at the Medina Township home of Vic Petras, right. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Sgt. Joseph King, left, of the Army Education and Career Development Center in Medina, works with Jonathan Curnutte, a Wadsworth High School senior and Army recruit, to try to get a power washer damaged by floodwaters started at the Medina Township home of Vic Petras, right. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

Petras, whose home flooded early the morning of May 13, said his back is feeling the strain of the work he, his family and friends have put in removing soaked flooring and drywall.

He said he was relieved and thankful to have the support of the young recruits, who were able to move the heavier items from his garage.

“There’s still just so much to do,” he said.

The recruits hauled items stored in the garage to a concrete pad outside. Items that were stored up high were placed on one side and those affected by the floodwaters were put into another pile.

Petras was going through the items Thursday to decide what to throw away and what to try to save.

“It’s like we don’t even know what to start next,” Petras said. “It’s nice they could help.”

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.