ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – Soldier volunteers joined the Rock Island Arsenal chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Nov. 17 to give back by delivering meals to residents in the local community.
The RIA SAMC and Soldier volunteers are continuing in their efforts to support the community despite restrictions in place due to rising numbers from COVID-19.
“There are plenty of ways to do good for others in the community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Sullivan, a U.S. Army Sustainment Command operations noncommissioned officer at RIA. “Now more than ever people need help.”
The SAMC inducts those NCOs who have contributed significantly to the development of the professional NCO Corps and a combat-ready Army. Members exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers and others.
This prestigious non-profit club is named after Audie Murphy who enlisted in the Army and became the most decorated Soldier of World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for standing down a German attack in France in January 1945.
The chapter participated in a meal drop-off Nov. 17, at the Days Inn Hotel in Davenport, Iowa, where it delivered 60 meals to homeless people living in transition shelters. They brought food to about 30 people.
“COVID 19 caused situations where homeless men and women that lived in temporary transitioning homes or halfway houses have been moved to temporarily live-in hotels for social distancing,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony White of First U.S. Army, and a volunteer with SAMC. “These people lack the resources to obtain meals and meals have to be delivered to them throughout the day.”
“I had a multitude of feeling,” said White. “It’s very humbling and reminds me to appreciate the things I have been blessed with and reminds me to give selfless service to others. We tend to forget that people need to help others with action by going out and doing something.”
“We’re trying to instill a solid foundation for the SAMC,” said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Miller, RIA, SAMC Chapter president and Operations NCO for First Army. “We want the community to know that we’re still here, were going to continue to build community, relationships and awesome Soldiers.”
The SAMC has three more service events scheduled and they are also exploring ways to keep the momentum going in hopes of relieving stress on others and helping the community.
SAMC members also wrote thank-you notes Nov. 23 to physicians and healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly to support those affected by COVID-19.
“We are going to continue doing meal deliveries, clothing drives and food drives,” said Miller. “It’s our goal to make sure Soldiers don’t just go through the process (to become a member of the SAMC) to get the medallion and be done with it. We want this to be a lifestyle change and something they can take with them to their next duty assignment.”
And, the community members shared their gratitude to servicemembers.
“People thanked us,” said White. “A woman came up to me and told me she had a job interview later that day and shared her appreciation for the meals and for the military. This was a great experience I can’t wait to do more.”
“I am a candidate for the SAMC,” said Sullivan. “Part of that is volunteering and helping to support and enhance the community. This was my first time going out with SAMC. It’s hard to take time away, everybody is busy but once you start you will find out it’s a very rewarding experience.”