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  • Writer's pictureNeighborLink Indianapolis

Buffalo Soldiers Garage Tear Down

Saturday, March 13, 2021 we had our first group project of 2021 and wow what a project! The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club chose to help NeighborLink Indianapolis with their 3rd annual day of service. That’s not to say they don’t do community service at other times in the year, this group is very active in the community and participates regularly in volunteer projects.

This group of retired military, firefighters, police officers and other service-minded professions came fully prepared with work gloves, goggles, chainsaws, and breakfast. A key component of a group project. A dilapidated shed had been brought down a few days earlier and this group was enlisted to help take all the debris and pile it into a large dumpster.

To say they came, they saw, they conquered would be an understatement. We reserved four hours for this project and this group whipped it into shape in about two and half hours. Fourteen volunteers showed up and got to work immediately. They needed no instructions, they were so familiar with working with one another and doing projects such as these that they took on the clean up as if it was no big thing. Chainsaws were used to cut down the boards and remove a fallen branch. There was a steady traffic of wheel barrels moving from pile to dumpster and back. By the end of the project, they had been so intentional with the filling of the dumpster that every last branch was stuffed in the dumpster all while remaining below the rim.

Admittedly, we weren’t entirely familiar with the Buffalo Soldiers prior to this project, but let me tell you, we’re familiar now and we are singing their praises! We had a chance to speak with Kettina Ealy, aka Turbo, a member of the club for more than a decade. Indianapolis has one of the largest chapters in the national organization. They got their name from the historic Black calvary who served in the U.S. Army. They were called “Buffalo Soldiers” and as a nod to those who served and the intent to not let their memory fade away, they adopted that name as their own. Though it is a national organization, the Indianapolis chapter is one of the largest and longest running for more than 25 years.

“We are all about helping one another and making the community better,” said Kettina. “We’re like a family. I got into this club more than ten years ago after a coworker took me to a fundraiser fish fry. When I met the people in the club, they were just awesome people. It was like love at first site. I started attending the meetings and just felt like I was at home with them. It’s been like that ever since.”

This family feel was evident as the group of fourteen cut up and teased each other—playfully. It was that ongoing energy that kept the pace going throughout the project.

“We had an awesome time doing this. As you can see, we won’t leave until the work has been completed,” noted Kettina. “Thank you for allowing us to come help you all serve the community.”

A final fun note for the Buffalo Soldiers, at the end of the project, when the last bit of debris had been swept off the concrete pad. The homeowner sent out a relative who had been helping her to convey her thanks and appreciation. The connection was also made, that one of the soldiers was friends with her from her time working at The Black Expo. They were able to re-connect and chat after we were long-gone. We absolutely love seeing a community connection.

Here’s to a great kick off to our 2021 project season!

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