Guest Blog: On Giving Back
At age seven, I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, a Soldier. From that point on, it’s all that I focused on, all that I wanted. At 17, I joined the Idaho Army National Guard and thus began what I thought would be a long career in the Army. At 18, I made the switch from National Guard to Active Army and was excited to meet all of the goals that I had planned back when I was a little girl.
Then I met my husband. After a rough start of not really liking each other to falling in love, we got married and had our first son. My future wasn’t going quite how I planned and soon I found myself overseas and married with two children. We spent a lot of time apart and I was away from my kids way more than I wanted to be.
Being a dual military Family was hard and the constant separations were taking a toll on our little family, so I decided to leave the Army when my contract was up and become a full-time mom.
I miss being a Soldier, even after all these years, but I decided that if I wasn’t going to wear the uniform, I would support those that do and those who love them. Most of my volunteer ventures involve Military Families and it’s so amazing to feel like I’m making a small difference in this unique and often challenging lifestyle. I currently volunteer with Army Family Team Building and teach miscellaneous classes like Family Readiness Group Leader and Care Team training on post, as well as conduct pre-deployment and post deployment briefings for Army Families.
People often ask me why I devote so much time to something that I receive so little in return from. This is where I disagree. I cannot describe the feelings I get when I feel that I have made a difference in someone’s life. Maybe it was just something I said, a feeling I justified or just being willing to listen.
What better way to build a legacy of service then to set that example for our next generation. Already our boys love to serve and are always looking for a way to help others.
So why do I volunteer and work with no pay? Because the relationships, experiences, and the empowerment is worth more than any agency could ever pay me.
A note from the Blog Brigade: For more information on the benefits of volunteering or to find volunteer opportunities, visit Military OneSource.