FORT CARSON, Colo. — Cpl. Dionysus Marcelo is a Soldier who defines the meaning of the term selfless service.
Born in Mandaluyong, Philippines and raised in Nevada at Nellis Air Force Base, Marcelo knew he would answer the call to duty one day.
“The foundation for me was to just follow in my dad’s footsteps and join the Air Force, however, I had this new enlightenment that led me to wanting to help others through social work or therapy,” said Marcelo.
Marcelo, now a medical logistics specialist assigned to the 1st Medical Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, 627th Hospital Center and a psychology major at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, is a devoted member of Fort Carson’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program. The BOSS program is comprised of volunteer civilians and servicemembers who help plan and hold unique events for single Soldiers and the community on and around installations.
“I first joined BOSS because I really liked the idea of the Army prioritizing the interests of single Soldiers,” he said.
Marcelo’s active involvement in BOSS marked the beginning of his military community service efforts. But working with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors — a national nonprofit organization that provides care and support to individuals grieving the death of a military loved one — is where he found the core of his purpose.
“Once I started working with TAPS, I got a broader view of wanting to work with military children because it touched base on when I grew up in a military household,” Marcelo said. “I’m fortunate enough to have never lost my dad, however I’m aware that these kids experience unique challenges that the military lifestyle has to offer.”
Marcelo’s scope was much wider than on just the Soldiers, he wanted his efforts to assist Military Families as a whole.
“I’m in school for psychology and I’ve attended classes on child stress, but nothing in those textbooks prepared me for the experience that actually being present in the TAPS program gave me,” said Marcelo.
“It’s a really valuable program because it didn’t just teach me to develop professionally as a Soldier with skills like how to mentor my Soldiers, but it also taught me a lot about being resilient and a solid team player, especially in the military where mental health is such an important topic today.”
Marcelo’s devotion to the youth in the TAPS program has not gone unnoticed. His peers have nominated him to be recognized for the Military Mentor of the Year award.
“Marcelo is a go-getter,” said Sgt. Ian Holmes, the Fort Carson BOSS vice president. “He’s so highly passionate about what he does and if it’s something he believes in, he’s giving one hundred fifty percent on it.”
“You can truly see when Marcelo was at the events and anytime you’d hear him talking about TAPS, it’s like he found a true home,” Holmes added. “Like he was already highly motivated working with BOSS, but when you see him at TAPS and how he’s involved with those kids, you’re like, this is where you belong. This is your line of duty.”
Marcelo encourages Soldiers to get involved in the TAPS program as he recalls the tremendous light it’s brought to his Army purpose, to serve others selflessly.