ANSBACH, Germany (April 16, 2014) -- Soldiers and their Families from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach scoured the roadsides of their host nation community for litter April 4, 2014.

The city of Ansbach holds a city-wide cleanup annually called the Ansbach Saubär. During this year's Saubär, more than 100 Soldiers and their Family members who live and work at the garrison spent their Saturday morning walking along the roads that surround the kasernes to pick up litter. The garrison's Environmental Management Division provided logistical services, providing trash bags, safety vests, gloves and trash-grabbing instruments.

Organizations that took part included the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and its 412th Aviation Support Battalion; along with the 12th CAB's 3rd and 5th battalions, 158th Aviation Regiment. Members of Ansbach Cub Scout Pack 97 also participated.

"Besides our daily jobs, it's important that we come out and help out," said Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodriguez, a Soldier with 12th CAB. "It's good for the community, it's good for us."

For Rodriguez and his Family, volunteering is part of engaging with his community.

"We do some volunteer work where we live," said Rodriguez. "We get to go out, meet our neighbors. We don't have to sit in the house and hide for the three years that we're here. We go out, the neighbors know us, and we know them. They help us, and we help them."

The Rodriguez Family brought their children out to support the effort as well.

"The community outside of our base can also see that we're doing something," said Karen Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez's wife. "They can see we're not just taking up space. We're coming out here and breaking our own backs for this and having our kids help."

The number of cigarette butts on the side of the road amazed Jose Rodriguez.

"I'm a non-smoker, but I think I've picked up more cigarette butts than some smokers do," said Jose Rodriguez. "If they [smokers] got out here and did some of this and had seen what a mess it is -- to walk down and actually pick up their cigarette butts -- they'd probably throw them away themselves."

Karen Rodriguez, found the volunteer activity to be instructional for the children as well. She said:

"I told my daughter, 'This is why you don't throw candy or anything out of the car.'"

To see more photos from the Ansbach Saubär, click on "Ansbach Saubaer Flickr photo set" in the "Related Links" section.

To learn more about USAG Ansbach's environmental efforts, visit or click on "USAG Ansbach Environmental Management Service" in the "Related Links" section.

To learn how about other volunteer opportunities at USAG Ansbach, click on "USAG Ansbach Army Community Service" in the "Related Links" section.