More than a dream
January 17, 2014
- "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- While most Soldiers prepared for an early weekend, some took the time to reflect at the Martin Luther King Jr. observance, Jan. 16.
Some Soldiers started their weekend embracing the "One Team" spirit, at an observance and volunteer fair that honored the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Sgt. Smith Theater located at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Guest speaker for the observance was the Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks.
As Brooks delivered his speech, he challenged the audience in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to "commit ourselves to the cause of another." Brooks recognized that most Soldiers commits themselves to something larger every day and he encouraged all Soldiers to continue supporting the community and living the Army values.
Before Brooks stepped off the stage he reminded everyone of the holiday's recurring theme, "A day on, not a day off," encouraging everyone to make a difference.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to equal rights. He believed "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his awe-inspiring "I Have a Dream" speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
The MLK observance was meant to honor Dr. King, and allow those in attendance to reflect on the many ways they live up to his dream.
"It feels great to participate in this observance," said Sgt. 1st Class Dawn Ramos, ceremony coordinator assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, USARPAC. "The Martin Luther King Day holiday is all about volunteerism and giving back to community. As Soldiers, a lot of us are given unique opportunities to volunteer. I feel like I'm bridging a gap between the military and the community.
"It's truly and honor and a blessing helping out others. Whether it's helping Soldiers to stay in shape with PRT [physical readiness training], building homes, or mentoring those going through junior reserves officers training corps--it's just awesome to give up a little bit of your time to give back to the community. You just can't beat the feeling you get when you're helping someone to improve their way of life," Sgt. 1st Class Craig Prouty, HHT, 3-4 Cav, 3BCT.
As Brooks pointed out, Soldiers had special abilities and talents allowing them to give more to those around them.
"Like Dr. Martin Luther King would have wanted us too, I'm grateful that I'm able to help people daily," said Command Sgt. Maj. James Jackson, command sergeant major for the 45th Special Troop Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade. "It's a great feeling to be able to help individuals through the trials and tribulations of life. No matter your sex or race, it's all about one team."
During the observance, Sgt. 1st Class Eric Driscoll, an equal opportunity advisor for the Pacific Region Medical Command received the President's Call to Service Award for serving more the 4,000 hours of volunteer hours throughout his lifetime and Spc. Shakita McDonald, a human resource specialist for the 18th Medical Command received the bronze Presidential Volunteer Service Award for serving more than 100 hours throughout the year.
Also in memory of Dr. King, a volunteer fair was hosted at the event to give the Soldiers and civilian in attendance a chance to connect with community.
"Living by the example set by Dr. King makes me want to help in the community," said Ramos. "I'm going to continue to do what I can to bridge my military family with my family in the community. Volunteering our time is one of the best ways we can do that."