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Veteran restores appliances, helps new Airmen

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Retired U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marshall Hermer, 97th Maintenance Directorate jet engine mechanic, installs a washer in an Airman’s house May 9, 2014. Hermer has restored, delivered and maintained more than 75 sets of washers and dryers in the past two years as part of the Altus Armed Services YMCA Washer and Dryer Program that gives junior enlisted Airmen restored laundry appliances for free. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Levin Boland/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Retired U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marshall Hermer, 97th Maintenance Directorate jet engine mechanic, installs a washer in an Airman’s house May 9, 2014. Hermer has restored, delivered and maintained more than 75 sets of washers and dryers in the past two years as part of the Altus Armed Services YMCA Washer and Dryer Program that gives junior enlisted Airmen restored laundry appliances for free. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Levin Boland/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - -- Countless Airmen and their families on Altus AFB have been helped by the Altus Armed Services YMCA Washer and Dryer Program which gives restored laundry appliances to junior Airmen.

The face behind the restoration of the appliances is retired U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Marshall Hermer, who has been fixing washers and dryers since he was a child.

"I love getting to help out these Airmen," said Hermer. "I grew up fixing washers and dryers with my family at their laundromat so it is a skill that I have always had and I am glad to get to use it this way."

Over the past two years, Hermer has restored, delivered and maintained more than 75 sets of washers and dryers for Airmen in his own personal time.

"This has really become a hobby for me," said Hermer. "I am retired military so I really enjoy getting to help these Airmen."

Hermer has had a long career of being a mechanic. Before he retired in 1992, he was an jet engine mechanic. He now works as a civilian Airman in the 97th Maintenance Directorate, again as a jet engine mechanic.

The families that have received washers and dryers through the program are appreciative of the work done by Hermer and the ASYMCA.

"It was really surprising at first that there are people out here like Hermer that are willing to help out," said an Altus AFB spouse who recently received a restored set of appliances. "I am new here and the military lifestyle is new to me as well. It's just nice knowing that there are people to help so we do not have to go out and buy a brand new washer and dryer."

The washers and dryers are donated by members of Altus AFB and the surrounding community. Once the family who received the appliances no longer has a need for them or are able to purchase their own, they are donated back to the ASYMCA to be restored and donated to another family.

For more information about the Washer and Dryer program, contact the ASYMCA office at 580-481-6523.