624th RSG volunteers, learns ‘service before self’

Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 624th Regional Support Group’s Development and Training Flight volunteered April 18 in Dededo, Guam, where they planted vegetables during their unit training assembly. Courtesy photo

Master Sgt. Theanne Herrmann

624th Regional Support Group

The Air Force Reserve’s 624th Regional Support Group (RSG) volunteered with nonprofit organization Island Girl Power in Dededo, Guam, April 18.

Members of the 624th RSG Development and Training Flight spent the day creating “earth buckets” to plant vegetables during their unit training assembly.

“We created a total of 28 buckets and 10 of them were made from scratch,” said Tech Sgt. Reiko Lovan, 624th RSG Development and Training Flight program manager.

“We had to drill drainage holes for the buckets, dig up dirt, fertilize and plant the seeds.”

Lovan ensures trainees located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, are ready physically and mentally for basic military training.

Typically during a unit training assembly, Lovan prepares the trainees on basic military fundamentals such as rank structure, customs and courtesies, physical training and drilling. But this time she focused on teaching about an Air Force value, service before self.

Lovan appointed one of the trainees, Latoya Ibanez, of Yigo, Guam to come up with an organization to assist.

Ibanez chose Island Girl Power, which strives to empower young ladies to make healthy lifestyle choices to help decrease teen pregnancy, suicide, substance and sexual abuse. Gardening is one of the organization’s activities.

“As the program manager I encourage service before self not only in the military aspect of things, but also in the community,” Lovan said.

“As reserve citizen Airmen we shouldn’t just utilize our Air Force core values when we’re in uniform. It should become a part of our lifestyle.”

The trainees were able to see how their volunteerism impacted the community.

“Even though we are just planting seeds or helping out, we touch the hearts of many families,” said Majuni Obillo, a trainee.

“We’re setting the example for others and we’re giving hope to many in need that there is life to enjoy.”

Volunteering for Island Girl Power provided a visual definition of service before self for the trainees.

“Something as small as planting seeds can have a big impact,” said Breanna Aguon, of Barrigada, a trainee.

“Just like those earth buckets we made, we start off small and it can turn into something big and meaningful that can help the community and make the world a much happier and peaceful place.”

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Category: News