WIESBADEN, Germany -- April is a busy month - Month of the Military Child, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Administrative Professional Week and, last but not least, Volunteer Week.

Many may feel that working for free has no benefit.

Au contraire mon frere, volunteering provides benefits overflowing with potential.

I currently volunteer with both the Public Affairs Office and Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Marketing Office.

I was also the Family Readiness Group leader for my husband's unit in 2007-2008.

Beyond the benefits, volunteering opens up a great deal of opportunities. From all the volunteering I have done, I have been able to understand the military community better, upgrade my leadership skills and learn a great deal that will help me in or outside the military gates.

It's also a steppingstone to getting my foot in the door to that perfect position. Volunteering looks good on a resume. I look forward to applying what I have learned.

Let's not forget the people you meet while volunteering. I really enjoy the people I work with.

But it's not all about what you get in return; helping others leaves you feeling like you've made a difference in someone's life - or a family that really needs it.

Giving of self started from middle school for me, and I plan to teach my son the importance of giving service back to the community. I believe when you give selflessly, good returns. (Darline Goyea volunteers with the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office in Wiesbaden, Germany)

Page last updated Fri April 16th, 2010 at 02:13