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Fayetteville Retiree Heads to Kosovo to Help Rebuild Homes

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FAYETTEVILLE — It's not your typical way to spend retirement. A 75-year-old Fayetteville man is on his way to Kosovo for months of hard work.

Ben Huske's work can be found all aroundFayetteville. He was the structural engineer behind the main library building and the health department. Now, the retiree is taking his skills to a city in Western Kosovo.

"Well, I don't play golf for one thing, I just like to get involved, and if you've got time, I don't know a better way to spend it," Huske said.

As a volunteer for the international relief organizationSamaritan's Purse, Huske will help repair 2,000 homes damaged duringthe recent war.

The Kosovo refugees will work with Huske to rebuild their own homes. The goal is have all the repairs completed before cold weather moves in.

"It's easy to say, 'Tear the building down,' but it's hard to say, 'Lets bring it back to life,' and that is one of my strong points," Huske said.

Another strong point is improvising. Huske knows the materials will run out before the job is done, which happened to him after World War II when he built a refugee camp.

Huske has been to Bosnia and Romania on other humanitarian missions. He says the thoughtful words and letters he receives are what makes his efforts worthwhile.

"It's just something I've got to do," Huske said.

Huske says he will stay at least four months, but he is willing to stay longer.

Samaritan's Purse has also committed to providing a shoe box filled with gifts this Christmas for 400,000 children in Kosovo.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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