News: Service members at JBLM join in Earth Day efforts
Story by Staff Sgt. Antwaun Parrish
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – As a former member of the Ocean Appreciation Club at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Air Force 1st Lt. Curtis Cordon enjoys when he gets the chance to revisit beach dwellings.
“Whenever I can come out to the beach and help make it a pleasant place to visit, I will,” said Cordon, C-17 pilot.
Many service members and their families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord took part in several activities offered during the week of April 16-22, leading up to Earth Day.
This year’s theme for Earth Day was “Mobilize the Earth.” There were many campaigns going on across the globe in the effort to elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world.
Cordon participated along with many other service members in the Solo Point Beach cleanup organized by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The participants walked along the rocky beach as the rain poured down, collecting trash to help beautify the area.
He remembered that the beaches in Hawaii had a big problem with plastic from soda cans getting around the necks of animals such as turtles.
“The beaches here aren’t as beautiful as the ones in Hawaii, but regardless it’s just as important for us to take care of the ones here,” said Cordon.
“It’s important that as service members we get out and make a difference in our community,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Lashanda Candeleria. “We have to show that we can take care of our own.”
Even though the rain was pouring, the service members continued to clean the area.
JBLM’s Sergeant Audie Murphy Club volunteered it’s time toward conservation efforts as well.
The club adopted the portion of Interstate 5 from exit 118-120 and is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of that area. The club’s members and candidates went out April 21 to clean up the area for Earth Day.
Cars sped past the participants in bright orange vests as they walked along the highway cleaning up a variety of items.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Marrow, the president and a 10-year veteran of the club, and he explained the pride the club instills in its members to give back to the community.
“When I think of SAMC, it makes my heart swell up with pride,” said Marrow. “It takes selfless service to come out here on the highway on the weekend and do our part to enhance the appearance of this highway.”
When seeking membership to SAMC, soldiers must volunteer with the club during their candidacy. Three candidates came out to the highway cleanup: one of those Soldiers was Sgt. 1st Class Leeroy Oliveras.
Oliveras is not very talkative and always seems to be in high spirits. He carried his eagerness over into the highway trash collection.
“I enjoy helping the club enhance the community,” said Oliveras, a native of Bronx, N.Y. “I don’t mind giving a helping hand.”
Doing projects like these are just a small part of preserving our world, but every little bit counts towards the future.
“Helping to preserve the earth teaches my kids how to be responsible citizens,” said Oliveras.