By Al Macks, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsMarch 2, 2012
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Throughout the year, service members from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center are asked to volunteer their free time for many local events.
However, the biggest turnout of volunteers comes every February for the popular and famous AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament.
One of the groups service members supported this year was the La Mesa Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association.
Association members were responsible for all environmental services, which included trash and recycling collection as well as distributing water to players on the courses.
"Trash collection is not glamorous work," said Glenn Woodson, a local Army reservist and volunteer coordinator for the school. "The service members jumped right in, and without their will to succeed and accomplish the mission [attitude], the tournament would not be presentable to the tens of thousands of fans who attend each year."
While the volunteers do work hard, "what makes our job fun is our staff all ride in golf carts, have behind the ropes passes, and are able to meet and obtain autographs from both professional golfers and celebrities," said Woodson.
Woodson also recognized that many functions could not have been accomplished without the DLIFLC service members who volunteered.
One of those volunteers, Senior Airman Jordan Cookston, 314th Training Squadron, said he was "totally blown away" with being able to meet some of the greatest golfer in the world. "It was fantastic," he said. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me that I will never forget." Additionally, volunteers from DLIFLC assisted the Carmel Youth Center by working the concession tents.
"We really appreciated all the support. We would not have been able to operate the concession tents without the assistance of the service members at DLIFLC," said Kymberlie Olser, associate director for the youth center.
Another Presidio of Monterey organization that provided volunteers was the Marine Corps Detachment, which provided 146 Marines to help in the operational support of setting up and tearing down of wind screens, billboards, barricades and televisions.
Also during the tournament, all branches of the military provided volunteers to tend the pin at the 15th hole.
"The event continues to grow each and every year," Woodson said, adding that he believes volunteer opportunities throughout the year give service members a chance to give something back to the community as well interact with the community. DLIFLC has a "proud reputation when it comes to assisting local community organizations and that continues to grow as well."