I was on hand for METALCON 2008, which was held Oct. 1-3 at the Baltimore Convention Center, and on the first day of the show the latest products and services in the metal building industry took a back seat to stirring presentation. The steel-framed home that was constructed inside the exhibit hall was dedicated to U.S. Army Sgt. David Battle and his family at a ceremony led by Capt. Darren Turner, Chaplain of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Stewart, Ga., in which David has served. Capt. Turner presented Sgt. Battle with a Bronze Star and announced that he had been promoted from U.S. Army Specialist to Sergeant.
Battle was severely injured in December 2007 while serving in Iraq. A blast from an improvised explosive device has left him a triple amputee and he currently is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while his wife Lakeisa and their four children live in post housing. The structure was dismantled after METALCON and will be rebuilt in the Baltimore area for the Battle family.
This is the third consecutive year that Taunton, Mass.-based Homes for Our Troops (HFOT, www.homesforourtroops.org) was the recipient of the METALCON structure. This nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization assists injured servicemen, servicewomen and their families by raising donations of money, materials, and professional labor and coordinating construction of a new accessible home to fit their needs - at no cost to the veterans. Teams of volunteers, METALCON exhibitors and industry supporters donated time and materials to create the home, including:
- Design: Architecture Collaborative Inc., Ellicott City, Md.
- Structural engineering: ADTEK Engineers, Fairfax, Va.
- Local manpower: Mid Atlantic Steel Framing Alliance, Fairfax, Va.
- Show site construction management: Bruce and Kimberly Ward, Seattle
- Site construction management: Arrisbrook Builders, Ellicott City, Md.
- Interior and exterior walls: STEEL TECH, New Holland, Pa.
- Roof trusses: All-Span, Inc, Bridgeville, Del.
- Custom cabinetry: Quality Custom Cabinetry Inc., New Holland, Pa.
- Metal roof material: Umicore Building Products USA, Raleigh, N.C.
- Metal roof panel fabrication: ATAS International, Allentown, Pa.
- Sheer walls and related products: Simpson Strong Tie Co., Pleasanton, Calif.
- Tools and fastening supplies: Grabber Construction Products, Concord, Calif.
- Time and home furnishings: Interior Concepts Inc., Annapolis, Md.