FORT RILEY, Kan. – Fort Riley Sergeant Audie Murphy Club candidates and members of the Society of the 1st Infantry Division met early on Saturday, August 20th, 2022, at Junction City, Kansas, to give back to the local community by picking up trash along one of the city's busiest streets. Phyllis Fitzgerald, the executive director of the Society of the 1st Infantry Division and former mayor of Junction City, meets with Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division to support the local community at least once a month.
It's Soldiers like U.S. Army Sgt. David Porter, a SAMC candidate and M1 armored vehicle crew member with 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, who keep coming back and bringing other Soldiers with them.
"The Audie Murphy Club represents the cream of the crop," said Porter. "I'm trying to join to meet with senior members to learn from their experience and bring it back to my unit to raise better Soldiers. Volunteering opportunities like these help to facilitate a greater relationship between the post and the surrounding area. There are a lot of people who don't understand what the Army does. They only see war movies. That doesn't show them all of the public services we offer and what Soldiers are really like outside of the uniform."
Chestnut Street is one of the most highly-trafficked areas in Junction City. According to Fitzgerald, maintaining the best appearance possible for visitors and newcomers to the city is essential. A retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 of the 1st Infantry Division, she is always grateful to work with active duty Soldiers and offer volunteer opportunities.
"It's always an honor to see so many people who care about the community and our partnerships," said Fitzgerald. "It's an honor to get our Soldiers to come outside the gates and have them get involved with volunteer projects. Members of the SAMC have been helping me with this for the past 2-3 years. I'm always grateful for their help."
The Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division remain uniquely positioned to support Junction City and the surrounding townships by volunteering their time to make a positive impact. According to Porter, these opportunities are not just limited to members of the SAMC but are open to all Soldiers who want to give back to their local community.
"If anyone is looking for something to do, check out the Fort Riley Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Facebook page," said Porter. "Events like this community cleanup and other community service opportunities are posted fairly frequently. Always look for a chance to serve your country and the local community."