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Vandenberg Airmen recognize importance of volunteerism

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Meticulously filing books, Airman Bryan Dowd, a 381st TRSS student, helps in renovation efforts at the base library Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Airmen from Vandenberg’s training squadrons frequently volunteer in the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Meticulously filing books, Airman Bryan Dowd, a 381st TRSS student, helps in renovation efforts at the base library Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Airmen from Vandenberg’s training squadrons frequently volunteer in the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Airmen from the 381st Training Group, 532nd and 533rd Training Squadrons, help in the renovation of the base library by moving boxes of books in the library Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Airmen from Vandenberg’s training squadrons frequently volunteer in the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Airmen from the 381st Training Group, 532nd and 533rd Training Squadrons, help in the renovation of the base library by moving boxes of books in the library Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Airmen from Vandenberg’s training squadrons frequently volunteer in the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airman & Family Support is one of the Year of the Air Force Family's four Pillars of Excellence. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Steve Heuring)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airman & Family Support is one of the Year of the Air Force Family's four Pillars of Excellence. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Steve Heuring)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen from the 381st Training Support Squadron, 532nd Training Squadron and 533rd TRS, have volunteered more than 80 hours over the past two weeks toward the renovation of the Vandenberg Library.

The library's renovation projects, which began Oct. 12, are on schedule for a completion date of Oct. 26.

"The renovations may not have met deadlines without the help of the Airmen," said Tech. Sgt. Richard Walters, a 381st TRSS military training leader.

Some of the Airmen worked eight-hour days assisting with the library's restoration. The Airmen helped by moving shelves and books, which made it possible for the base contractors to lay the new carpet down.

Volunteering at the library is not out of the ordinary for the Airmen of Vandenberg's training squadrons. Led by motivated MTLs, the Airmen have developed a positive base-wide reputation for acts of volunteerism and community involvement.

"Every week we assemble a list to let our Airmen know what kinds of volunteer opportunities are available to them," Sergeant Walters said. "And in return, the amount of support we get from the Airmen is great!"

The Airmen have recently volunteered in numerous activities in the community including graffiti removal and the construction of a safe area for children to play at the Youth Men's Christian Association, Lompoc, Calif. They have also participated in Vandenberg's "A Run to Remember," during their physical training sessions.

Volunteering in the community has increased the camaraderie among the Airmen.

"The Airmen's overall morale is improved with each volunteer opportunity that comes their way," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Cushing, a 381st TRSS MTL. "The Airmen really appreciate the kind of work they are doing in their local community. When the Airmen sign up to volunteer, they are not just thinking of their selves, but rather of all of the good things they can do for their community."

For some of the Airmen, volunteering is a way to fill their idle time while waiting for classes to begin.

"I have a lot of free time, so I like doing something positive with my time," said Airman Bryan Dowd, a 381st TRSS student.

For other Airmen, volunteering is all about "giving back" and is another way in which they can interact with the community.

"Volunteering is an opportunity that allows you to become more aware of your surroundings," said Airman Miranda Snyder, a 381st TRSS student. "It is always good to help out and get to know people from the community."