News: Marine gives back to community
Story by Cpl. Laura Gauna
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Serving in the armed forces may be selfless enough for some, but others, like Cpl. Sean Bautista, want to do more.
Bautista, an administration specialist with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, grew up in the Philippines.
Growing up in a religious family, he learned to love others and give to those less fortunate.
“I grew up in, I guess you could call it, the slumps,” said Bautista. “My family had a nice place, but I played with the kids who lived in small apartments and around the dumps. It just made me realize how blessed I am to have what I have and it made me feel good to know that I could help them.”
At a young age, Bautista volunteered at his uncle’s charity, which helped less-fortunate children receive an education and also held Bible studies.
After living in the Philippines for 16 years, Bautista came to the states and joined the Marine Corps. Immediately, he started volunteering in his free time.
In this last year alone, he completed 612 hours of community service.
“I want to be an example to others,” said Bautista. “Many don’t realize that if you volunteer even a little of your time, it will make a big impact to someone. One person can help make a difference.”
He has volunteered in youth centers, community centers, homeless shelters and countless retirement homes.
“No family ever comes to visit the majority of the people in retirement homes,” shared Bautista. “They are alone and just want someone to talk to. It’s a pleasure to be around them. I have met first sergeants and sergeants major that went to the Korean War. I even met a Marine who knew Chesty Puller. It amazed and motivated me. You don’t get to meet people like that every day.”
He is also an avid member of the Single Marine Program counsel.
“I just love giving to other people,” he added. “Not everyone will see what you have done or thank you for it, but it’s not for them, it’s for your own happiness. You know what you did helped someone else and it’s such a great feeling. “
Bautista recently received the volunteer of the year award. His wife, Wendi, could not be more pleased with her husband’s accomplishments.
“I am so proud of him,” she said. “He is always managing his time between his family, work and volunteering. He has such a good heart.”
Bautista is also a new father and looks forward to dedicating his life to her.
“She is just a new joy to the family,” he added. “I want to cherish the moments with her at this age now.”