By 1st Lts. Eric Lamberty and Colin BussertApril 25, 2013
Since their deployment to Kuwait began in October, 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery Soldiers have been busy volunteering their time performing more than 600 hours.
As part of the "I Strike" Battalion initiative, one of their first goals is to fulfill 12 hours of volunteer service per Soldier throughout the deployment. Soldiers from A Battery began their volunteer activities by picking up trash on their walk to work.
"We started conducting ruck marches to work a few days in early February for exercise. Along the way, we noticed trash on the side of the road and began picking it up," said Sgt. Laure Marmol, 4-3rd ADA.
"Most of the Soldiers have found that volunteer hours are easier to obtain out here, because most of the time they don't even realize they are fulfilling those hours. They are eager to explore other opportunities because they are so much fun," said Capt. Gabriela Thompson, Company E commander. From 5K runs, to MWR-sponsored events and sporting activities, Soldiers are heavily involved in volunteering.
Recently, some 4-3rd ADA Soldiers volunteered at the Muscle Car and Bike show hosted by MWR, which showcased everything from BMWs retrofitted with race car engines to fully customized motorcycles.
The event offered a motorcycle safety exhibit which provided on-lookers the opportunity to try out a virtual motorcycle experience.
"It was very interesting and eye-opening to realize that even the most experienced motorcycle riders can still benefit from simulations like this so they can be better prepared for any situation," said Spc. Fernandez.
Assistant teaching and instructing is another beneficial opportunity that allows Soldiers to influence other Soldiers while earning volunteer hours.
Spc. Robert Davis, Supply Support Activity, recently completed more than 18 volunteer hours as an assistant instructor at the Level I Combatives class offered on the installation. As a Level II certified Soldier, Davis is not only able to volunteer his personal time by instructing other Soldiers, but also keep his skills fresh.
"Many Soldiers have made earning the Volunteer Service Ribbon one of their deployment goals. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and in Kuwait it is even more beneficial, because that community is our fellow Soldiers," said Davis.