News: Power of giving: Resolute Warrior sets example
Story by Sgt. Edwin Rodriguez
FORT EUSTIS, Va. – She was lying in bed hoping the pain in her knee after a recent surgery would subside. It was a tough Veterans Day weekend for her as she rested her knee hoping to get back to normal operations. When you’re recovering in bed, nowhere to go, sometimes the only thing left to do is think, as was the case with Spc. Rosie Navarro. Her thoughts were racing faster than her body can keep up with.
After the effects of Hurricane Sandy and wondering how families are adjusting, Navarro, a transportation coordinator with the 382nd Transportation Theater Opening Element, Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, wondered what she could do help. She would admit that she should have been home keeping the weight of her injured knee, but instead she approached her section officer with an idea about how best to help families in the North.
“I had to clear my idea with 1st Lt. Stephanie Smith (transportation officer with the company) and then schedule a meeting with Lt. Col. Noah Cloud (STB commander). He really liked the idea and OK'd it. That is what got the ball started,” said Navarro.
An injured knee couldn’t stop her from helping others in need. Her mother taught her the value of putting others before herself. She brought along that value from home giving other Soldiers an example on how selfless-service starts from within.
Navarro decided to hold a friendly competition between companies in the battalion to see which company can donate the most goods. Each company brought in food and clothing to give to those in need, with an added incentive. The winning company would receive a late work call.
“I spoke to my leadership about getting the word out. I asked for canned foods and nonperishable items, cleaning supplies, and clothes,” said Navarro. “For those who donated I gave them something back in the form of cookies and beverages.”
As stated earlier, she joined the Army bringing with her strong values from her hometown of Garden Grove, Ca. She started early on in life and never stopped.
“I started in high school where my mother kept me focused on the right path. I actually started by volunteering to help with a high school stage production, then with Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps,” said Navarro. “When I joined the Army and went to Fort Hood, I helped with the on-post Special Olympics. At Korea, I volunteered for the Family Readiness Group and Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers. I love to keep myself busy by giving back to others.”
When she arrived to Fort Eustis in 2011, her efforts continued. She donated her time to the FRG and to Child Youth and School Services. Volunteering has slowed down for her since her injury but she continued to do what came natural to her.
“I have been volunteering my whole life…this is my morale builder and makes me happy. I get more gratitude from giving then getting anything in return.”
This time around, with the help of the HHC FRG leader, Amy Studdard, Navarro was able to raise awareness within the battalion for her cause. She coordinated almost 300 pounds of food and clothing to donate to the Food Bank of Virginia before Thanksgiving. Navarro and other volunteers packed up all the goods in boxes and delivered them to the bank, which promised to pass on the goods to families most in need in the New York-New Jersey area, said Navarro.
Many soldiers in the battalion have asked her if she would conduct more donation drives. Navarro, who has been in the Army since 2006, assured them she would.