Bellators clear pathways into local community
Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Sanchez-Perez and Staff Sgt. Jacob Lalli heave a downed tree into a brush pile March 23 at Morrison Park in University Place, Wash. Perez, Lalli and nearly 100 other volunteers from the 46th Aviation Support Battalion helped University Place Parks and Recreation clear trails in a community outreach event.

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. - Soldiers and family members from the 46th Aviation Support Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, assisted the University Place community by building trails in a local park, March 23.

The volunteers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord cleared brush and debris in the woods in Morrison Park to build a nature path as part of a community outreach program.

"What took Parks and Recreation weeks to cut down, the Soldiers cleared in under a couple hours," said Josh Dove, a University Place employee. "We're just a small department, so having these guys come out and do this is really appreciated."

Capt. Dexter Brock, the chaplain who arranged the community service project, had his expectations surpassed due to the hard work of the volunteers.

"I expected that this task would take four hours, but I did not expect that we would complete this daunting task in one hour and 30 minutes," Brock said. "The reason is that we had over 100 Soldiers and family members show up in full force with a lot of motivation."

Soldiers also used the volunteer opportunity to bond with their families.

"I brought my daughter to show her that when people are in need, you help them," Sgt. Crystal Begody said, adding that she saw this as an opportunity to build "a better environment for children."

Brock said the "Bellators" will conduct future volunteer projects in University Place. By volunteering, Soldiers also demonstrate the call of service is not just on the battlefield and that Soldiers are outstanding members of surrounding communities.

"I feel that it is important to keep a strong connection with the local community," Brock said. "This gives Soldiers the opportunity to reinforce positive behavior that places them in a favorable light. We would like the local community to think of Soldiers with high regard."

Page last updated Mon April 22nd, 2013 at 00:00