News: Going the extra mile
Story by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – During “downtime” on deployment, most Soldiers watch movies or play video games, but one 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team Soldier spends his time volunteering at the United Service Organizations.
Sgt. Lindon McCurdy, supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, has volunteered more than 1,500 hours at the USO over the seven months the brigade has been deployment to Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
McCurdy, a native of Orlando, Florida, and a nightly USO volunteer, began with signing out phones, computers and video games, and also setting up tournaments, but he soon started to display additional talents to the other USO staff.
“When I first started out, before they knew what I was capable of, I started out on the desk helping Soldiers,” said McCurdy. “Making sure they were comfortable coming into the center and they knew what was going on.”
When the brigade first arrived, McCurdy noticed the potential the USO could have.
“The USO was not well known amongst the brigade, and not a lot of people showed up,” said McCurdy. “I made it my mission to kind of advocate on behalf of the USO because there was free stuff being given away, free events, things to be won and people weren’t showing up.”
Volunteering comes natural to McCurdy.
“I think it is just in my nature,” said McCurdy. “Ever since I was small, I have had a super hero complex. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Superman. Not Superman the comic, but Superman and what he stands for.”
For the staff of the USO, McCurdy is always there to save the day.
“With him as a volunteer, he is incredible,” said Christina Ambrose, USO volunteer coordinator. “He has done so many creative projects and taken them under his wing, and it has bettered the center in so many ways.”
As McCurdy began to feel comfortable at the USO, his talents in design started to shine and flourish.
“I’m a firm believer in giving back,” said McCurdy. “Being that this was the only place I had, I came here and kind of turned the center into my own.”
Since volunteering at the USO, McCurdy has painted murals, contributed to the decor of the inside of the building and designed graphic flyers, coins and shirts.
“We are so lucky to have him here,” said Ambrose. “He is fantastic. He has got so much talent that we haven’t seen in a long time from a volunteer.”
As a volunteer, you are on display for all the other Soldiers to see.
“If you talk to one of the staff member here, I’m sure they might mention something about setting a standard,” said McCurdy. “It isn’t about the time, it is about the quality of service and I have tried to give 110 percent to this place.”
And what type of example does McCurdy show for others to strive for?
“He sets an amazing example for other volunteers with attitude, skill and just who he is,” said Ambrose. “He has brought in other volunteers and recruited amazing people with similar skills and talents. We are very lucky to have him.”
Though it is important for McCurdy to volunteer, he knows the mission comes first.
“It’s always duty first in the Army,” said McCurdy. “Granted, I am doing a great thing, but (my job) is what I signed up to do. That is what they pay me to do, so duty always comes first. If I am accomplishing everything that I need to, then I can go ahead and do my extracurricular stuff.”
With the deployment coming to end, McCurdy hopes to close in on 1,700 hours and continue his volunteering back at Fort Carson.
“He has definitely left his mark in so many ways,” said Ambrose. “They are going to be the luckiest USO ever. I can’t even put into words the impact he has had here. He has done so, so much. For the center back in the states, they hit the goldmine.”
Date Posted:05.27.2014 09:26
Location:CAMP BUEHRING, KW
Hometown:CAMP BUEHRING, JA, KW
Hometown:COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US
Hometown:FORT CARSON, CO, US
Hometown:ORLANDO, FL, US