Hawaii Reservist encourages volunteerism
DEDEDO, Guam – A Hawaii Reservist inspires potential members of the Air Force Reserve’s 624th Regional Support Group to use the Air Force core values while serving their local community here recently.
Tech. Sgt. Reiko Lovan, 624th RSG Development and Training Flight program manager, ensures trainees located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, are ready physically and mentally for basic military training.
Typically during a unit training assembly, Lovan is preparing 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.
“As the program manager I encourage service before self not only in the military aspect of things, but also in the community,” said Lovan. “As Reserve Citizen Airman we shouldn’t just utilize our Air Force core values when we’re in uniform. It should become a part of our lifestyle.”
Lovan appointed one of the trainees, Latoya Ibanez, of Yigo, to come up with an organization to assist. She suggested they volunteer for Island Girl Power, which is a non-profit organization with the goal of empowering young ladies to make healthy lifestyle choices to help decrease the occurrence of teen pregnancy, suicide, substance and sexual abuse.
Island Girl Power offers positive activities such as gardening where the flight in Guam spent the day creating “earth buckets” to plant vegetables.
“We created a total of 28 buckets and 10 of them were made from scratch,” said Lovan. “We had to drill drainage holes for the buckets, dig up dirt, fertilize and plant the seeds.”
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, of Yigo, 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.”