News: No sweat! BAF volunteers clean up ministry center
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The fall season is just around the corner and with that in mind, a 455th Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain and his assistant, deployed from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., wasted little time in organizing an event to spruce up the Airman Ministry Center here Aug. 16, 2013.
The two facilitated a 'Spring Cleaning in the Fall' volunteer effort and sent out an e-mail requesting assistance. The message provided general information about the help they needed, and they anticipated just enough people would participate to help them out.
They had no idea the response they were about to generate would be quite abundant.
“When we originally sent an e-mail out, we were hoping to get at least a few responses, maybe four or five, but we received almost 30 responses from airmen wanting to help,” said Staff Sgt. Lowell Wann, 455 AEW chaplain assistant, who hails from Odessa, Mo.
The chaplain and his assistant asked for help with some general cleaning, and sought on-going volunteers who wanted to pitch in on a weekly basis to help mop, do some dusting and remove trash.
Volunteers also came from within the facility when a couple service members from 183d Security Forces Squadron National Guard, who share the building with the chaplains, pitched in to help.
It was truly our pleasure to help the chaplains with their improvements and reorganization,” said Master Sgt. John Van Pelt, 183d Security Forces Squadron National Guard non-commissioned officer in charge of Echo Sector, deployed from Springfield, Ill., and a native of Springfield, Ill.
“It has been a blessing being co-llocated with the Eastside Chaplain's Office; the support they provide our defenders with the 24-hour access to phones and computer services, along with daily refreshments such as coffee and cold water has an immeasurable effect on their morale. Add in the facilities for quiet reflection, and the occasional taste of home and it was sincerely our honor to help,” Van Pelt said.
Make no mistake, this was no small project. Yet with so many volunteers participating, the clean-up’s intent was met and served a far-greater purpose.
“Our cleaning of the ministry center is twofold,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Gary Coburn, 455 AEW deputy wing chaplain, who’s a native of Prattville, Ala. “One reason is to clean up and organize what we already have, including movies, games, books and toiletries.
“The other reason is to provide space for our new ministry center interfaith meditation and prayer room. This space will be for those on the flightline who just need to get away for a few minutes of quiet time,” Coburn said. “It will also be used for classes we'll be teaching as well as for communion on Sundays for those who can't make it to services in one of our chapels.”
Some of the bigger projects volunteers helped with included:
-Re-organized the ministry center’s entry way's freebies: books, toiletries, etc.
-Assisted in making, and re-arranging a one-room inter-faith, and quiet meditation room
-Rearranging another room to be better suited for hanging out and organizing games and movies
-Performed necessary handy-work with bracing privacy temporary walls near the morale phones
-Moved and rearranged the facility’s wall art
Date Posted:08.16.2013 13:09
Location:BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF
Hometown:BATESVILLE, AR, US
Hometown:BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, CO, US
Hometown:CANTON, OH, US
Hometown:CHICAGO, IL, US
Hometown:DAYTON, OH, US
Hometown:FARMERSVILLE, OH, US
Hometown:FORT HOOD, TX, US
Hometown:JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD, US
Hometown:LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, AR, US
Hometown:MARINA, CA, US
Hometown:ODESSA, MO, US
Hometown:PRATTVILLE, AL, US