Show a spirit of service: volunteer

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
A spirit of service runs deep within those who choose to wear our nation's uniform. 

Many of you have served our country on distant shores, placing yourselves in harm's way so that others might know peace, freedom and a better way of life. 

It's important to remember that you can bring that same profound change to people living in your local community. 

What may seem like a simple act of mentoring a child, teaching someone to read or feeding the hungry is actually making a significant contribution to your community and to America. 

And in doing so, you'll often add to your own self worth. 

Once a year McChord has an opportunity to come together and show the people of the Northwest our commitment to community service. 

In just three weeks we'll welcome 2,300 athletes, 500 coaches and more than 3,000 friends and family members as we celebrate the start of the Washington State Special Olympics Summer Games. 

As is tradition, we cheerfully open up McChord for the final leg of the Olympic torch run and Opening Ceremonies. 

Since 1968, the Special Olympics has improved the lives of athletes by participating in sports programs that increase self-confidence and further enable these athletes to lead productive, fulfilling lives. 

To help make this an unforgettable event for the competitors, we need more than 300 volunteers. 

Last year my family signed up to pitch in wherever needed. We'll do so again this year, and I encourage you to do the same. 

Teens ages 14 to 17 can sign up as long as a parent volunteers.

 I encourage everyone to get involved and learn more about this great program by visiting the "Base Announcements" section on Sharepoint or by contacting this year's volunteer coordinator, Staff Sgt. Amy Weger, at 982-0090. 

On any given day we have dozens of groups volunteering both on and off base showing their spirit of service not only to our nation, but to our fellow citizens. 

For those not already connected with a community project, you can find plenty of local opportunities by visiting the USA Freedom Corps Web site. 

By simply typing in your zip code, you can choose from any number of volunteer programs that are close to home and close to your heart. 

Thanks for all that you do for our nation, our Air Force and our community.