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Memphis Builders: Behind the mask

Published April 29, 2020
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IN THE PHOTO, Low Voltage Technician Anthony Bell is working to terminate all data wires in the Alternate Care Facility on April 28. Terminating the data wires ensures computers and wireless access points for the internet will work. (USACE photo by Jessica Haas)

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IN THE PHOTO, Low Voltage Technician Anthony Bell is working to terminate all data wires in the Alternate Care Facility on April 28. Terminating the data wires ensures computers and wireless access points for the internet will work. (USACE photo by Jessica Haas)

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IN THE PHOTO, Low Voltage Technician Anthony Bell is working to terminate all data wires in the Alternate Care Facility on April 28. Terminating the data wires ensures computers and wireless access points for the internet will work. (USACE photo by Jessica Haas)

Walking around the Alternate Care Facility construction site, people are usually focused on what workers are doing, not so much the people themselves. And if you’re like me, you’re also very focused on the ground as you don’t want to trip and fall over something as simple as a little cord.

But, it’s important to get to know the people doing the work. They are the ones making this facility a reality after all. They are also the people sacrificing time with their families, working 12 hours a day and seven days a week.

Last week we met Allen, the gentleman who lost his job as a cook but fortunately landed a job as a painter with one of our contractors. He said he was grateful for having a job during this time as he knew many didn’t. We are grateful to have him on the team as well.

Another man I had the pleasure of speaking with is Anthony Bell. He’s a Low Voltage Technician and works one of the contractors hired for this FEMA project.

When asked about how he felt working on this project, he said he was tired, but that it would be worth it in the end.

“The rush is gonna be a feat to conquer, but if this helps even just one person, then it’s all worth it – working the 12 hour shifts seven days a week,” Bell said. “Sacrificing the time with my family will be worth it in the end.”

He’s worked for his Memphis-based company for ten years now, and said they do work like this for hospitals all over the south. He lives with his girlfriend and daughter here in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bell is one of more than 500 people on our construction team. We’re so grateful for each and every person contributing to this effort – we can’t say thank you enough.

Again, if you would like to show your appreciation, you can do so in one of the following ways: make a thank you poster and mail it to the following address: U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District,Attn: Public Affairs Office, 167 N. Main St., B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-894. Or, if you'd rather virtually share your thanks, you can always make a sign, take a picture with your sign, and then email it to us at  MemphisPAO@usace.army.mil.

We appreciate your support, Memphis. As always, stay safe, and stay strong.