Tyler (KYTX) -- Not everyone was off work for Veterans Day on Monday. One construction crew, made up of several former service members, stayed on the job in Tyler.
Mary Hamlin spends most of her time now volunteering as a supervisor at Habitat for Humanity sites, but before that, she had another job. She spent 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, doing aircraft maintenance.
"I really enjoyed it, I like the technical types of jobs. Jobs with tools," Hamlin said.
It being 1971, you can imagine, the field didn't boast many women. "Me and some of the rest of us, were some of the first," Hamlin said.
She's one of 9 veterans at the latest Smith County Habitat build. Another crew member is Johnny Lowery. He served in Vietnam, and received two Purple Hearts.
"I went through a lot of physical therapy. I had to learn how to walk again," Lowery said.
Now he's part of Garrett and Associates. Members of the group celebrated today, but also want to get Cheresa Monmouth's home done on time.
"Words cannot express how I feel. My kids and I have come a very long ways," Monmouth, the homeowner, said.
These veterans say they are always grateful when their sacrifice is recognized.
"When they said that freedom isn't free, that's true. Somebody's got to go out and do the things it takes," Hamlin said.