308 BSB soldiers support local community

17th Field Artillery Brigade
Story by Spc. Nathan Goodall

Date: 06.13.2013
Posted: 06.20.2013 14:35
News ID: 108962
308 BSB soldiers support local community

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Soldiers regularly change duty stations every couple of years, which gives them the chance to travel and experience different parts of the world. <br /> <br /> Consequently, it can also cause them to feel disconnected from their local community. <br /> <br /> Not for soldiers with 308th Brigade Support Battalion, 17th Fires Brigade, however. <br /> <br /> The battalion consistently takes part in volunteer opportunities with the Boys & Girls Club in Tumwater, Wash.<br /> <br /> Soldiers with 308th BSB visited the club to present a donation and help the staff with their daily activities, June 13.<br /> <br /> The donation, almost $600, was raised specifically for the club during a battalion golf scramble, said Lt. Col. Gary Spearow, an Olsburg, Kan., native and the 308th BSB commander.<br /> <br /> Over the last couple of years, Spearow has been very active with giving soldiers volunteer opportunities to help the Boys & Girls Club staff. <br /> <br /> Because of training, the unit hasn’t been able to volunteer as much, and the donation was a way to get back into it, said Warrant Officer Jeffrey Springer, a Radcliff, Ky., native and brigade ammunition officer with the 308th BSB.<br /> <br /> “We want to continue that because it’s important,” Springer said. “Getting out there shows that we do more than just military stuff, that we do care about the community."<br /> <br /> Which is why the unit didn’t just send a check in the mail, but wanted to actually present the donation with soldiers, Springer said.<br /> <br /> The presentation was important for soldiers that didn’t participate in the golf scramble, like Sgt. Kenneth Eichler, a Marysville, Calif., native and squad leader with Company B, 308th BSB. <br /> <br /> Eichler isn’t a fan of golf, but he didn’t want that to stop him from contributing to a great organization.<br /> <br /> As one of the soldiers visiting for the presentation, he took the opportunity to play basketball with the children and help build their confidence by missing a few shots on purpose, without making it too easy of course.<br /> <br /> “Being able to go there and help and just share my free time, it was a good experience,” Eichler said.<br /> <br /> While Eichler wasn’t part of a Boys & Girls Club growing up, he remembers what it was like to be a child and recognizes the impact soldiers can make in the community by simply showing children they are important and taking some time to play a round of basketball with them.<br /> <br /> Eichler said he would definitely encourage his brothers- and sisters-in-arms to take advantage of volunteer opportunities and to get more involved in the community, whether it be participating in fundraisers or simply missing a few shots on the basketball court to make a child’s day a little brighter.