Kindness Is Contagious
[iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/04/25/memorial-video-melbourne/”] Over the course of this semester I have had the honor of working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars through the Service Learning Program. Through the Service Learning Program, I have learned a great deal about non-profit organizations and their impact on the community; however, the most valuable information I have acquired is about me. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/doug-interview-vfw-post-4287/”] The Veterans of Foreign Wars has given me the powers of persuasion, comradery, and understanding, which has made the Service Learning program an invaluable experience for me.
I imagine it is extremely difficult for a mother to convince her children to do their chores or to listen; however, the difficulty of gaining trust and openness within the Veteran community is a feat of extraordinary distance, to say the least. I participated in throwing a party for the veterans at the Orlando VA Community Living Center (CLC); while there, I witnessed a 94 year old World War II Veteran [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/carlos-president-of-sva-at-rollins-college/”] argue and win against the nursing staff, convincing them to help him out of his wheelchair and to hold him steady so he could stand for the Pledge of Allegiance with a proper salute to the American Flag, his name was Arty. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/al-halley-interview-post-commander-4305/”] Arty, took several hours out of his day to teach me that, “Every kind gesture, smile, and action, Mr. Allen, that you pay forward will continue to be paid forward, almost like waves in the ocean. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/brief-look-into-a-vfw/”] This is because kindness is contagious and the mightiest power to persuade others,” demonstrating that like waves, everyone has their high and low points; however, we should remember them as we do the beach by focusing on the big waves of selflessness. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/2093-view-and-events/”]
After eight long years of service, you tend to lose your ability to be comfortable with people; however, that is where the Veterans of Foreign Wars plays a vital role within the community. Generally speaking, it is said that everyday 22 veterans attempt to take their own lives. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/wwii-veteran-tribute/”] The Veterans of Foreign Wars has helped many service members, each battling their own demons [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/vfw-bell-charter-and-history-post-4287/”], to have a door that’s always open, support in tough times [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/uss-indianapolis-ca35/”], and resources to help ease many of the burdens Veterans face during their military transition period[iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/pow-table/”]. After speaking with several veterans about their trials and tribulations, I was able to gain a new understanding about some of my own strengths and weaknesses, develop a new found wisdom that was well beyond my years of experience, and perhaps most importantly, I made friends, people I could vent my frustrations, my successes, my concerns, reminding me that Veterans don’t fight alone in war or at home [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/first-female-post-commamder-in-florida/”].
I have always worked hard, tried my best, never quit, which has helped mold me into the man I am today; however, through the Service Learning Program and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, I have come to realize that our self-made perception of conformity is the very thing that destroys communities [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/05/02/deceased-vfw-members-of-post-5405/”]. If you have ever walked around with amputees, you would see that our lack of understanding as a nation is its own impossible hurdle. James, a Vietnam Veteran, lost his right leg in combat and has always faced the patronizing brutality of being over-nurtured when he is out in public, almost as if people believe his handicap makes him incapable to accomplish any task by himself. The Veterans of Foreign Wars combats this ideology by changing the perception of our youth about Veterans.I was among a panel responsible for choosing a scholarship winner from nine audio recordings and read nine essays, all of which were from 6th to 8th grade students, based on the titled theme “Why our Nation should appreciate its Veterans of past, present, and future,” demonstrating that through research and understanding the Veterans of Foreign are attempting to combat the struggles that Veterans face with constructivism. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/04/25/memorial/”]
The Veterans of Foreign Wars through the Service Learning Program has given me the value of kindness, what brotherhood truly means, [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/04/25/richard-zeicht-2/”] and a road map into the perception that need to be changed on how important Veterans are to this Nation. I am privileged to have had the honor of participating in the Service Learning Program and hope to take the knowledge I learned and apply it throughout the remainder of my life. [iframe width=”100%” height=”480″ src=”http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/mara/2016/04/25/terry/”] As long as I continue to help my fellow countrymen, maybe there is hope in changing the world for the better. I truly enjoyed this experience and will look for other opportunities in the future.