SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – United States Navy sailors wore many hats during San Jose’s first Fleet Week. They drove to Walnut Creek to help Habitat for Humanity build townhomes for low income families. Petty officer from the USS Carl Vinson Trey Perry told KRON4, “It’s nice to be able to make a change in your hometown or surrounding area cause then you feel like you’re making an impact where you grew up.”

From defending his homeland to helping out his home state, Perry and four other sailors helped lay the foundation for Esperanza Place on Friday. The project is led by Habitat for Humanity.

This will be the site of 42 new townhomes located right next to the Pleasant Hill Bart station. Assistant construction manager for Habitat for Humanity Ben Brenner told KRON4, “It’s going to produce more energy than it uses. It’s all solar, no natural gas with solar panels pretty much everywhere.”

The homes are being built through the Habitat for Humanity organization. But Brenner says it wouldn’t be possible without volunteers.

“Without the volunteers, I would be very lonely and we would be working a lot slower,” he said.

These sailors have been lending a helping hand at several organizations the past few days as part of San Jose’s Fleet Week. Perry says, “I look at doing stuff like this because it’s a learning opportunity. So you’re able to pick up new skills and help out. Where you can meet new people.”

Fleet Week consists of sailors going to various schools and volunteering at organizations while also sharing their experience with the Navy. It’s a way to emphasize the importance of the service branch in places without a significant Navy presence.

Sharing their experiences is only half the fun for Chief Petty Officer Karee Lattier. She tells KRON4, “Part of the reason I joined the Navy is to be able to give back to the country and now I’m giving back to my local community, so that’s always a win.”

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“The Navy doesn’t really have much of a big influence out here as they should, so just coming back letting them know ‘hey we’re the U.S. Navy, we’re here in the Bay Area and we support you,’” Officer Lattier explained to KRON4.

The townhomes are expected to be done sometime next year and San Jose’s Fleet Week continues until Sunday.