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    Living by core values; Marines volunteer, give back to community

    Living by core values; Marines volunteer, give back to community

    Photo By Capt. Adam Miller | III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific Marines and...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Adam Miller 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP FOSTER, Japan - Throughout the history of the Corps, Marines have conducted themselves with honor, courage and commitment, earning the respect and high expectations of people around the world. While most may cite examples of actions in combat to explain the core values, equally important in establishing the Corps’ legacy has been the selfless work of Marines in the local communities where they are assigned.

    Marines on Okinawa can volunteer with several organizations on and off base, ranging from school reading programs and blood drives to community cleanups and youth sports programs.
    Volunteering provides an opportunity for Marines to get involved in areas beyond their normal responsibilities and help make a difference.

    “Volunteering has given me a better understanding of commitment,” said Lance Cpl. Lahmia M. Hegwood, a combat production specialist with combat camera, G-3/5, operations and training, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “When I volunteer on the weekends and I have to be at my event at 6 a.m., no matter how tired I am, I know I must fulfill my commitment. If I do not, then I am letting down a lot of people who are counting on me.”

    Hegwood volunteers as a youth cheerleading squad coach at Camp Foster, an activity she finds enjoyable and rewarding.

    “Introducing little girls to something they may love doing for the rest of their lives excites me,” said Hegwood. “I love kids, dance and giving back. It is a win-win situation.”

    Volunteering is a good way for service members to meet new people, do something positive, and interact with the local community.

    “Volunteering can give Marines a sense of accomplishment and help them escape from daily stress that comes with being away from home as they interact with members of the local community,” said Randolph L. Mitchell, the manager of the Single Marine Program. “It also gives them an opportunity to grow, learn and thrive within the military and Okinawa cultures.”

    The Marine Corps Community Services’ Single Marine Program is one of many reliable resources for finding volunteer opportunities around Okinawa.

    “We provide Marines with a friendly environment where they can feel comfortable,” said Mitchell. “The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to see these Marines make an impact on our community by becoming mentors others can emulate.”

    Marines can also contact their installation’s community relations specialist for volunteer opportunities.

    Marines can earn recognition through military awards like the outstanding volunteer service medal, certificates of commendation and letters of appreciation by volunteering. However, volunteers say there is more to be gained than individual accolades.

    “Being able to volunteer is great,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin L. Tisdale, a civil affairs operations chief with III MEF. “If you talk to anyone that does it on a regular basis, they will tell you it is not about awards, but giving back and helping people.”

    There is virtually no limit to how Marines can have a positive influence on their community if they get involved.

    “If you want to volunteer, then sign up for something that appeals to you and stick with it,” said Hegwood. “Attitude is everything. Volunteer because you like to help people and want to make a difference.”



    Date Taken: 02.21.2013
    Date Posted: 02.21.2013 01:59
    Story ID: 102308

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