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Team Tyndall volunteers make impact on base, community

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- Several words come to mind when you think about serving in the Air Force. 

Those new to the military may think of pride, commitment, duty and service. 

However, once Airmen get their "feet in the door," another word becomes very familiar to them - volunteer. 

Airmen have been long-time helpers on their bases and in their surrounding local communities. 

Team Tyndall is not an exception. For years, many have given free time to help the base and Panama City through projects like Habitat for Humanity and blood drives or by working with base organizations like the Chapel, Thrift Shop and the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. 

"From an Airmen and Family Readiness Flight perspective, volunteers have been invaluable to us," said Catherine Tarrant, community readiness consultant. "The Airman's Attic and Family Services Loan Closet are staffed exclusively by volunteers. They assist us in the office by making sponsor packages and putting together information for our customers, as well as many other ways." 

Tyndall's Airmen have stepped up for various projects, often filling the need for volunteers in a matter of minutes. This dedication has ensured the success of countless organizations and projects, like the annual beach clean up project. 

"Tyndall personnel should be commended for the outstanding participation in the annual beach clean ups," said ChiQuita George, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron pollution prevention program manager. "I have the awesome privilege of serving as coordinator for this project, and have enjoyed witnessing the number of volunteers increase during the past three years." 

"Team Tyndall volunteers have made a commitment to excellence in serving their community and fostering positive relations between Tyndall and the local area," said Ms. Tarrant. "They dedicate an extraordinary amount of time, talent and energy toward meeting the needs of their neighbors, and often are Tyndall's informal community leaders." 

Because of this commitment to excellence, Tyndall is often called upon to volunteer. 

"Volunteers bring a wealth of information and a fresh vision to the agencies and organizations requesting assistance," said Ms. Tarrant. 

The benefits of community service can transcend to volunteers in the form of recognition. The Airmen and Family Readiness Center, with recommendations from base organizations, recognizes those who "go the extra mile" with awards like Volunteer of the Quarter and Year, Volunteer Excellence Award and the President's Volunteer Service Award. 

No matter the type or scale of a project, Airmen volunteer for, a positive impact is sure to result. 

"Volunteers truly make a difference in our community wherever they serve," Ms. Tarrant said. 

For information on upcoming events or organizations needing volunteers, contact the Airmen and Family Readiness Flight at 283-4204, which refers and recruits volunteers for special projects. Other sources of information on volunteer opportunities include first sergeants, e-mail announcements, bulletins and the Gulf Defender.