Soldiers, MADD unite for Texas Ramp Project
Spc. Alexander Burnett, 11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs | Fort Bliss Monitor | 6 June 2008
The tragedy that surrounds a car accident can only be made worse when a drunken driver is responsible. The numbers of those injured, disabled and even killed continue to rise due to the irresponsibility of others. Fortunately there are groups to assist those affected by drunken drivers.
Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Texas Ramp Project Saturday in El Paso to help accident victims of a drunken driver.
Rachel and Ruben Albarado and their son, Alex, were hit by a drunken driver outside their El Paso home in February. The driver hit their car at such a high speed it pushed their vehicle two houses down.
The injuries to Alex and Rachel were slight; however, the extent of Ruben’s injuries left him wheelchair-bound and there is a chance he may never walk again.
Confined to a wheelchair, Ruben is unable to go in and out of his house without difficulty, so Soldiers teamed up with MADD and the Texas Ramp Project to construct an access ramp.
“We are so grateful to all of the people who are helping us,” said Rachel Albarado. “The Soldiers and other organizations helping our Family are truly doing something that will help my husband for a long time.”
The project at the Albarado house marked the first time MADD has worked in conjunction with the Texas Ramp Project, said Virginia Gonzalez, the executive director for MADD West Texas.
“We have been working with the communities around El Paso and with the command groups at Fort Bliss to bring people into these kinds of organizations,” said Gonzalez.
All of the Soldiers and civilians who showed up for the ramp’s construction were volunteers who received less than 24-hours notice the build was happening.
One of the Soldiers volunteering, Spc. Ricky A. Duffield, an enhanced fire control operator from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, had been up all night working staff duty and came to the build with no sleep, said Maj. Bill Dowling, the 3-43 ADA executive officer.
“I love to build and I love to help, so this seemed like a natural project to be involved with,” said Duffield. “This Family needed help, and I have the ability.”
Dowling believes this involvement with MADD and the TRP will become a consistent partnership. He said his hopes are the El Paso community will see Fort Bliss is involved and its Soldiers care about what happens in their town.
Also, he said he hopes it will raise Soldier awareness about the dangers of drunken driving and the consequences they may face for a moment’s lapse in judgment.
Soldiers who wish to get involved with MADD can contact Virginia Gonzalez at by e-mailing email@example.com or call 541-5332. For more information on the Texas Ramp Project, visit www.texasrampproject.org.