News: ‘Raiders’ lend helping hand to Springs community
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, “Raiders,” 4th Infantry Division, donned their volunteer hats and welcoming smiles as they helped the Colorado Springs community with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships March 22, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
When the 10 soldiers of Raider brigade heard volunteers were needed for the NWBA Championships, they decided to put together a team of volunteers, consisting of two soldiers from each battalion, to assist with the event.
Soldiers assisted by working the electronic scoreboard and updating the official NWBA scorebooks after each game.
It’s important for soldiers to volunteer, because it gives the community the chance to see Soldiers as community members, said Sgt. Paul Connor, cavalry scout assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment.
During game-breaks, athletes and took the time to thank soldiers for their service and for taking the time to assist in the event.
“This is important to the brigade because it helps us connect with the community,” said Connor, a native of Yorktown, Va.
There is a relationship that is built between the brigade and community when Soldiers volunteer, said David Boucher, site director for the NWBA.
“The community is given the opportunity to see the human side of the military, which strengthens the relationship between the community and the brigade,” said Boucher, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Raider brigade volunteered to assist with many events in Colorado Springs, which has caught the attention from individuals throughout the community, said Boucher. Volunteer efforts included educational classes, working with children, and assisting with construction projects.
“Soldiers usually come in and give us a hand; and that’s huge, because we couldn’t do it without them,” said Boucher.
Helping the community is an opportunity that is new to some soldiers, said Connor. Volunteering is a chance for them to get involved in events and experience new things.
“There are people from all over the country here and it’s been a great experience getting to know them,” said Connor.
“I’ve seen wheelchair basketball in movies and TV, but it’s something I would have never experience if it weren’t for this opportunity,” added Connor.
As the end of the event came near, some soldiers said they enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with the community.
“When future opportunities come up, I will definitely volunteer to participate in those events,” said Connor. “It’s a worthwhile opportunity to be a part of the community and do some good.”