SAMC wraps up successful year of service, community outreach in Hawaii
(From left to right) Staff Sgt. Richard Yniguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 8th Theater Sustainment Command; Staff Sgt. Bryan Haldeman, 7th Engineer Dive Team; Connie Mitchell, executive director, Institute for Humane Services; Staff Sgt. Celeste Harris, 45th Sust. Brigade; and 1st Sgt. Martin Jenkins, HHC, 516th Signal Bde.; stand before the many donated goods collected during the November drive, at Honolulu Community College.

HONOLULU - The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) of Hawaii, an organization of noncommissioned officers (NCO) who make up a highly integrated, nonprofit organization to reach out to the local and military communities, are wrapping up a highly successful year.

"Our success in many events this past year is a direct reflection of the support we've received from our members," said Staff Sgt. Richard Yniguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Theater Sustainment Command and SAMC president. "We've been successful because of them."

This past year, SAMC has been responsible for three food drives, collecting shoes and school supplies for orphans, four Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) events, and the coordination of numerous special military events for the community.

"One of the roles we have in the club is to show the civilian community the best representation of the Army," Yniguez said. "By showing that there's a group of individuals willing to support their community, everyone will know we are a valued asset to any community."

Over the past four years, SAMC have fostered good community relations with many programs in Hawaii. SAMC has sent many of its NCOs out to help local events, often with their members fulfilling the roles of community liaisons between the Army and locals.

"The best program we've had that's still going strong is the support to the local JROTC programs," Yniguez said. "Not only are we there to judge the events, but we're there to make sure the Army is represented by top-notch NCOs."

For Yniguez, the job is important work, but it's not about the work needing to be done, it's about Soldiers giving to others and impacting the community in a positive way.

"When an NCO in the Army supports the local community, he's setting a positive example for young Soldiers - that's our nature as NCOs, in addition to guiding, training and influencing."

Throughout the last year, NCOs from SAMC have donated 613 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars in donated food and goods to military and civilian communities. They have helped wounded veterans visiting the island, donated food to needy families and supported many nonprofit organizations, but it doesn't stop there.

Outside of community service, SAMC members have built an organization designed to strengthen the Noncommissioned Officer Corps.

"We have a large amount of diversity within our ranks," Yniguez said. "Because of military occupation specialties and positions, our members have become more successful because they can grow and learn from one another to become better leaders."

Staff Sgt. Bryan Haldeman, SAMC member, 7th Engineer Dive Team, summed up best what new members can look forward to upon joining the club.

"You are joining a team of other fellow NCOs who make up the top two percent of the Army in this club," Haldeman said. "When you join, you step out and become more that an NCO who leads Soldiers, you become a community leader who sets the example for the rest of the NCO Corps and others to follow."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16