Volunteers: Making a Difference

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Ed Wilson
  • Commander, 45th Space Wing

That was the very first word Lisa and I whispered to one another as we listened to the accomplishments of our servicemember volunteers at the Military Affairs Council "Community Service Award Banquet" held last week.

As one after another individual - 15 in all - was honored, we were so thankful we have such outstanding young men and women living and working in our midst.

We weren't alone. The entire room felt exactly the same way we did, and with good reason.

For most of us, "time" is one of the most important commodities we have and cherish. We tend to horde it, to squirrel it away and save it to do something "we really want to do."

Yet, the unselfish volunteers recognized last week, and countless others all throughout our Space Coast community continue to donate countless hours of their "personal time" to those who need it most. Whether it's helping to build housing for the homeless, provide support for the hungry, coach youth sports programs, raise funds for charities, or a host of other activities, the common thread is that "giving back" is in the forefront of what motivates these individuals.

And they do so day in and day out, week after week and year after year.

Let's face it, we don't have to be especially gifted to volunteer. In other words, we don't need to be especially athletic, intelligent or overly aggressive.

What we do need is our heart in the right place, the desire to be part of something much bigger than ourselves and the willingness to make a positive difference in an individual(s) life.

In all honesty, the men and women recognized at last week's MAC banquet have shown us all there is no limit to we can accomplish. Our hats are of off you in heartfelt thanks and appreciation! Thank you for what you do, the free time you dedicate to giving back, as well as for the example you set for all of us.

You know who you are. And so does our grateful community.

Finally, Lisa and I hope all of you had an enjoyable, safe Thanksgiving!