Serving your community

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
I have heard numerous complaints about how there isn’t anything to do here, and it may be true that we are stationed on a tiny base in a small town, but there are tons of things to do around here.

I think one of the best things to do at this base is work on yourself and a great way to do that is to volunteer.

Dr. Martin Luther King said this about volunteering, “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

We as service members already serve our country, why not serve our community too? San Angelo gives so much to the base, to its Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen. Every year the city puts on several military appreciation events and sometimes civilians will buy lunch for service members in random acts of kindness. Volunteering is a great chance to show them that we care about them too.

If you are not sure where to start, there are always organizations out there looking for help like Meals for the Elderly, the San Angelo Family Shelter and the local Civil Air Patrols. This city has something for everyone if you just go out and look for it.

Live on base and don’t have a car? Then give back to the base community. Sign up with the Sexual Assault and Prevention Response to be a victim advocate, help out with a squadron booster club or become a member of our Honor Guard.

“Volunteers are important to the SAPR program because they continue to promote the zero tolerance prevention of sexual assault within the unit, or the military, and to support the program policy of help is available for survivors of sexual assault,” said 17th Training Wing Interim Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Laurel Matus.

I’ve given back to the both San Angelo and Goodfellow, and one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities I’ve ever been able to be a part of was the Crisis Intervention Unit. This was extremely rewarding, but also, incredibly difficult.

For this particular volunteering position, I worked with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office. I often would go to homes of domestic violence victims and help them fill out protective orders, or I would console individuals who had a sudden death in the family.

It broke my heart seeing people in that state, but once it was over, I felt like I accomplished something. I got to be there for that person during one of their greatest times of need. I was a stranger to them, but I was given a chance to help a fellow human. I believe that is something we could use a little bit more of in the world.

“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer,” said retired Gen. Jimmy Doolittle.

We get a chance to build upon ourselves while helping others and serving the community. Give it a chance. Go out and volunteer. If you are looking for more opportunities to serve your community, give back, and build on yourself, check out the volunteer page here: